“‘Busy with Other News’: American Art, Visual Culture, and Antisemitism during World War II”
Alissa Schapiro is currently Ph.D. candidate in art history at Northwestern University, specializing in 20th century American art and the history of photography. She received her undergraduate degree in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, and her master’s degree in Curatorial Studies from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (Great Britain). Schapiro has contributed to numerous museum exhibitions and catalogues, including at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Courtauld Gallery. Schapiro currently serves as assistant curator on the exhibition and associated publication "Life Magazine and the Power of Photography," on view at the Princeton University Art Museum (February 22-June 21, 2020) and then at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (August 19-December 13, 2020).
Alissa Schapiro was awarded a 2019-2020 William J. Lowenberg Memorial Fellowship on America, the Holocaust and the Jews to conduct research towards her Ph.D. dissertation titled “‘Busy with Other News’: American Art, Visual Culture, and Antisemitism during World War II.” Unlike the robust scholarship on art made in the aftermath of the Holocaust, this project studies how artists and cultural practitioners in the United States responded to the persecution of European Jews by the Nazis as the war was unfolding. Schapiro traces avant-garde, institutional, performative, and mass media-related practices in order to better understand the relationship between American wartime cultural production and the Holocaust, while also questioning the impact of American antisemitism on these various projects and their largely forgotten status within both art history and contemporary popular culture.