The Baker Museum presents Better Than B-Sides:
Abstract Women Artists from the Ertegün Collection
Dianne Brás-Feliciano, Ph.D., curator of modern art
Better than B-Sides: Abstract Women Artists from the Ahmet Ertegün Collection will explore the (her)stories of Gertrude Glass (Greene), Esphyr Slobodkina, Helen Torr and Charmion von Wiegand. Most of these artists participated actively in the American Abstract Artists collective founded in 1936 in New York. At a moment when—due to the prominence of American Scene and social realism artwork—it was difficult for abstractionists to exhibit, let alone sell, their work, these artists had an additional inconvenience: many traditional art spaces were closed to them because of their gender. While these exceptional artists received some minor recognition during their lifetime, much of their legacy has been forgotten. It is the purpose of this lecture to recover and reclaim their stories and their art as a vital part of the abstract scene of the thirties.
Dianne Brás-Feliciano, Ph.D., joined Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, in 2023 as curator of modern art. Born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, she obtained a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in arts administration, both from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Ph.D. in history from the Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico.
Brás-Feliciano's research and curatorial interests are related to the Anthropocene and underrepresented/minoritized communities. She has curated a variety of exhibitions with diverse topics and media, such as Sun-Drenched Disasters (2021), presented in Myymala2, Helsinki, Finland as part of the Saari Artist Residency granted by the KONE Foundation; JUNTXS (2020) at the Museum of Art and Design of Miramar, and Arde la montaña: Los carteles del Taller El Seco (2019), a trailblazing exhibition product of primary source-research on printmaking collective Taller El Seco (active on the seventies). In 2016 she was the co-founder of TransForma, an all women curatorial collective.
Her articles and essays have been featured in different blogs, books, journals and newspapers. Recently, her essay "The Protest Poster in Puerto Rico: From Flyers to Independent Workshops." was included on the publication Elcartel: Voz para la resistencia, by the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art of the University of Puerto Rico which won an Honorable Mention at the Mary Ellen LoPresti Publication Awards (2022). The publication was sponsored by the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has presented lectures at the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art of the University of Puerto Rico, and at the National Women's Studies Association Annual Meeting, among others.
Prior to her appointment at The Baker Museum, Brás-Feliciano worked as an independent collections manager, curator and writer. Earlier in her career she worked in the curatorial department at the legendary art space Exit Art in New York, and as the curator of education at the Museo de Arte Dr. Pío López Martínez at the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey.
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