History of Art and Architecture

Rebecca Giordano


Rebecca Giordano specializes in race, gender, and transnational exchange in the Americas in the 20th Century. A co-founder of the anti-racist feminist curatorial collective INGZ, Giordano has curated work by photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jackie Ormes, and Jacob Lawrence and contributed to Koyo Kouoh’s curatorial intervention in the 2018 Carniegie International titled Dig Where You Stand. As a Mellon Fellow in Curation and Education, she began an exhibition on Selma Burke and 20th century U.S. Black art pedagogies to be mounted in Fall 2021 at Pitt’s University Art Gallery. Giordano is deeply committed to public-facing art history and has worked for five years as a museum educator at the Blanton Museum of Art and the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. Her collaborative project with Brooke Wyatt, the Eve Addams Tearoom Memorial Browsing Shelf, is a lesbian intervention into art historiography in form of a monthly making session and browsing shelf hosted by the Frick Fine Arts Library. This interactive project prompts questions about erasure and presence while providing a space for queer conviviality.

Focused on the connections between U.S. Black artists and Mexican Muralism, Giordano’s dissertation project, “Art, Anthropology, and Race in Muralism in the U.S. and Mexico, 1910-1960,” considers the significance of cultural anthropology within the international impact of Mexican Muralism. This project traces connections between Boasian cultural anthropology and artistic approaches to imaging collective identity forged in Mexico in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution to adaptations of these paradigms by U.S. Black artists in the Jim Crow era.

Education Details

PhD, University of Pittsburgh, in progress

Certificates in Latin American Studies, Cultural Studies

MA, Art History, University of Texas at Austin, 2015. Thesis: Readymaintenance: Systems, Feminist Economics, and the Immaterial Readymade in the Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles.

BA, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, University of Chicago, 2008.
Major fields: Art History, English, Philosophy. Thesis: The Neg(oti)ation of History: Notes Toward an Anarchist Avant-garde.

Selected Publications

Grove Dictionary of Art, Oxford University Press. New entries on Jack Witten, Charles
Gaines, William H. Johnson, and updates to entries on Willie Cole and Adrian Piper (forthcoming 2020)

Book Review of Tanya Sheehan’s Study in Black and White: Photography, Race, and
. Caa.reviews.com, 2019.

Exhibition Review of 20/20: Carnegie Museum of Art and the Studio Museum of
. Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture 7, 2019.

“An Aluminum Sheen on Urban Renewal” in Metal From Clay: Aluminum Stories, 2019.

“Notes on Selected Objects” in The Dispatch, 57th Carnegie International. Edited by
Ingrid Schaffner, Carnegie Museum of Art, 2018.

Selected Presentations

Living Histories of Art from Latin America: A Workshop with Gerardo Mosquera, University of Maryland, College Park. Paper: “Identifying Cultures: Art, Anthropology, Race in the U.S. and Mexico, 1910-1960,” March 2020.

The Logic of Racial Practice: Embodiment, Habitus, and Implicit Bias, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Respondent. September 2019.

Modern Language Association, New York, New York. Paper: “Red, Young, and Cute: the Scamp in Jackie Ormes’ Patty-Jo’n’Ginger,” January 2019.

Black Matters, UT Austin, Austin, TX, September 2016. Co-convener and respondent. Panel: “Art, Activism, Action.”

Art History Association Annual Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, March 2014. Paper: “Radical Solitude: Bonnie Sherk’s Sitting Still and Public Lunch.”

Center for Mexican American Studies Annual Conference, UT Austin, Austin, TX. February 2014. Paper: “Total Revolution: Art, Anarchy and Black Mask."

Streetopia, The Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2012. Lecture: “Programmatic Architecture and the Utopian Imagination.”

Selected Awards

Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, 2020-2021

Humanities Engage Curricular Development Grant, 2020

Pitt Year of Creativity Grant, 2020

Marstine Prize for Outstanding Work in the Public Humanities, 2019 (for work on Dig Where You Stand)

Chancellor’s Scholarship for Afro-Cuban Study Abroad, 2019

Dietrich Summer Research Award 2017, 2019

Tinker Graduate Student Field Research Grant, Center for Latin American Studies, 2018

International Studies Fund Award, University Center for International Studies, 2018

Arts and Sciences Academic Year Travel Research Award 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Institute for Studies on Latin American Art, Honorarium, 2020

Outstanding Graduate Student Award, John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, University of Texas, 2015

Selected Exhibitions

Eve Addams Tearoom Memorial Browsing Shelf, Frick Fine Arts Library, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. (Co-Curator). Ongoing. 

Global Gestures. University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. (Curatorial Assistant) 2019

Dig Where You Stand. 57th Carnegie International. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, (Curatorial Assistant) 2018

Focus: Michael Ray Charles, the Idea Lab, Austin, TX, 2017 (assistant curator)

History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence, The Christian-Green Gallery, Austin, TX, 2017 (assistant curator)

March ON!, The Christian-Green Gallery, Austin, TX, 2017

Sampling, The John L. Warfield Center, Austin, TX, 2016 (co-curator)

In Heartbeats: the Comic Art of Jackie Ormes. The IDEA LAB, Austin, TX, 2015

LaToya Ruby Frazier: Riveted. Isese Gallery and Visual Arts Center, Austin, TX. 2014-2015 (co-curator)

McSweeney’s McMullens: Artwork from Children’s Books Plus 1,032 Illustrated Lunch Bags. ElectricWorks, San Francisco, CA. 2011 (co-curator)