Professor Emeritus of Art History
Joined Connecticut College: 1977-2011
B.A., University of Colorado; M.A., University of Texas; Ph.D., University of Virginia
Gender issues in the Machine Age
Portraiture in the 20th century
Barbara Zabel’s teaching and research interests focused on American and European modernism. Over the years, she has published scholarly essays in major journals and anthologies, as well as exhibition reviews and essays on contemporary artists. Barbara is the author of two books:
- "Assembling Art: The Machine and the American Avant-Garde" (The University Press of Mississippi, 2004)
- "Calder’s Portraits: A New Language" (The Smithsonian Research Press, 2011)
The latter was published in conjunction with the first exhibition to focus on Alexander Calder’s portraits, which she curated for the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in 2011. For her research projects, Barbara has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Smithsonian American of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery.
Barbara has also curated exhibitions for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT, most recently
- "Pop Goes the Easel: Pop Art and Its Progeny" (2013)
- "America @ Work: New Deal Murals in New London and Beyond" (2012)
- "Face-Off: Portraits by Contemporary Artists" (2011)
For these exhibitions Barbara wrote catalogues and involved art history students.
Barbara also continues to lecture, most recently, “Ashcan to Soup Can: the Vernacular in American Art,” a course for the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT (2013). She plans to continue lecturing, participating in conferences, and traveling the world. Current plans include trips to see architecture in Scotland and ancient sites in Jordan.