Time & Location
Jul 14, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
San Francisco, 3092 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
About The Event
Have you been missing the classroom lately?
Craving a good old fashion mind stimulating lecture from your favorite professor?
It may be summer, but that doesn't mean the learning has to stop!
In Sculpting a Life, the first book-length biography of sculptor Chana Orloff (1888-1968), author Paula Birnbaum tells the amazing story of a fiercely determined and ambitious woman who fled antisemitism in Ukraine, emigrated to Palestine with her family, then travelled to Paris to work in haute couture before becoming an internationally recognized artist. Against the resonant backdrop of revolution, world wars, a global pandemic and forced migrations, her sculptures embody themes of gender, displacement, exile, and belonging. A major figure in the School of Paris, Orloff contributed to the canon of modern art alongside Picasso, Modigliani and Chagall.
Stories from her unpublished memoir enrich this life story of courage, perseverance, and extraordinary artistic accomplishments that take us through the aftermath of the Holocaust when Orloff lived between Paris and Tel Aviv. This biography brings new perspectives and understandings to Orloff’s multiple identities as a cosmopolitan émigré, woman, and Jew, and is a much-needed intervention into the narrative of modern art. (162 words)
We will be joined by the amazing Professor Birnbaum from University of San Francisco!
About Professor Birnbaum:
Paula Birnbaum is the Ann Getty Endowed Chair and Professor of Arts History and Museum Studies, and serves as Academic Director of the Museum Studies M.A. Program at the University of San Francisco. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary art and holds a doctorate in Art History from Bryn Mawr College. Professor Birnbaum is a former Fulbright Scholar and fellow at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University.
Birnbaum has completed three books: Sculpting a Life: Chana Orloff Between Paris and Tel Aviv (Brandeis University Press, 2023); Women Artists in Interwar France: Framing Femininities (Ashgate/Routledge, 2011; 2016), and a co-edited anthology (with Anna Novakov), Essays on Women's Artistic and Cultural Contributions 1919-1939 (Edwin Mellen). Her publications contribute to feminist scholarship within the fields of art history, museum studies, and Jewish studies, with recent articles on topics including contemporary feminist art in Israel and the global street art movement. She has published essays on feminist art in numerous recent exhibition catalogs and lectured internationally, with recent presentations at the University of Johannesburg, the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, Tel Aviv University, and the 34th World Congress of Art History, Beijing. Birnbaum is the recipient of the Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research Award (2017), and the University of San Francisco’s Distinguished Research Award (2014) and Distinguished Teaching Award (2008).