Barbara Jaffee is associate professor of art history at Northern Illinois University. She earned a Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Chicago in 1999. Her scholarly research has focused on the critical discourse and institutional framework within which modern art developed, particularly in the United States. Jaffee’s current project, Diagrammatics: Industrialism and the Modernizing of American Art, documents the use of diagrams in art pedagogy in the United States, a topic that provides not only a framework for understanding the popularization and diffusion of modernist aesthetics, but also an opportunity to investigate the origins and early (pre-1913) development of modern forms of painting. She has received fellowships from the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Education, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Getty Foundation. Among her publications are several articles and book chapters, including “Jackson Pollock’s Industrial Expressionism” (Art Journal) and “Before the New Bauhaus: From Industrial Drawing to Art and Design Education in Chicago” (Design Issues).
Stephanie Smith is one of Chicago’s leading interpreters of contemporary art. Having joined the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago in 1999, she is currently deputy director and chief curator. She also serves as an affiliate member of the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts and founding member of its Open Practice Committee. Previously, she held curatorial positions at Rice University, where she earned an MA in Art History, and at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Smith’s work focuses on socially engaged public practice and on issues of art and sustainability, most notably in the exhibitions and publications Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art (2005), Heartland (2009), and her current project, Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art (2012). She is a contributing editor for the international art journal Afterall and has written for the international contemporary art journal Parkett.