725 Commonwealth Ave, Rm 305B
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Telephone: (617) 353-1471
Fax: (617) 353-3243
Associate Professor; African Art. BA, University of New Orleans; MA, PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor Cynthia Becker is a scholar of African arts specializing in the arts of the Imazighen (Berbers) in northwestern Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, and Niger. Her research has been supported by a Fulbright grant and several grants from the American Institute of Maghreb Studies. Professor Becker has served as a consultant for numerous museum exhibitions and published articles on the visual and performing arts of the Imazighen as well as the trans-Saharan slave trade. Her book Amazigh Arts in Morocco: Women Shaping Berber Identity was published by the University of Texas Press in July of 2006. She is currently working on a book about the Afro-Islamic aesthetics and ceremonial practices of the Gnawa that considers the history of the trans-Saharan slave trade and its implications on material culture in both western and northern Africa. Other projects include the visual expression of Amazigh consciousness by contemporary painters/activists, the influence of Sufism on contemporary Moroccan art, and the visual culture and history of the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans (her hometown).
725 Commonwealth Ave, Rm 302
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Telephone: (617) 353-2521
Fax: (617) 353-3243
Professor, American Art and African American Art
B.A., Stanford University; M.A., City University of New York, Hunter College; Ph.D., New York University
Professor Hills teaches courses on American art and visual culture, and is a specialist in the history of American painting, African American art, and art and politics. Major books and catalogues for exhibitions she organized include: Painting Harlem Modern: The Art of Jacob Lawrence (2010), Syncopated Rhythms: 20th-Century African American Art from the George and Joyce Wein Collection (coauthored, 2005), May Stevens (2005), Modern Art in the USA: Issues and Controversies of the 20th Century (2001), Eastman Johnson: Painting America (co-authored, 1999), Stuart Davis (1996), John Singer Sargent (1986), Alice Neel (1983), Social Concern and Urban Realism: American Painting of the 1930s (1983), The Figurative Tradition and The Whitney Museum of American Art: Paintings and Sculpture from the Permanent Collection (co-authored, 1980), Turn-of-the-Century America: Paintings, Graphics, Photographs, 1890-1910 (1977), The Painters’ America: Rural and Urban Life, 1810-1910 (1974), The American Frontier: Images and Myths (1973), Eastman Johnson (1972). She has also contributed essays to catalogues of major exhibitions, such as Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (2000), Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series (1993), Breaking the Rules: Audrey Flack, a Retrospective 1950-1990 (1992), The West as America (1991), Eastman Johnson: The Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket (1990). Her articles have appeared in American Art, Oxford Art Journal, Prospects, Archives of American Art Journal, Dictionary of Women Artist, The Encyclopedia of New York City, American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts Vol. 2, Romare Bearden, American Modernist (2011), Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda and the Cold War (2010), Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism (2007), The Social and the Real: Political Art of the 1930s in the Western Hemisphere (2006), Looking High and Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture (2006), Art in Bourgeois Society, 1790-1850 (1998), Redefining American History Painting (1995).
Eastman Johnson: Painting America (1999), co-curated with Brooklyn Museum of Art curator Teresa A. Carbone, won the Henry Allen Moe Prize for most outstanding exhibition catalogue in the State of New York for the year 1999.
She has held both Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, and has been a fellow at the Charles Warren Center and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, both of Harvard University, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, and from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
In February 2011 she received the “Distinguished Teaching of Art History” award from the College Art Association. In May 2011 she and co-author Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz received the William Fischelis Book Award presented by the Victorian Society in America for John S. Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women, ed. by Paul S. D’Ambrosio (Cooperstown, NY: Fenimore Art Museum, 2010). .
In 2011, Professor Hills received the Distinguished Teaching of Art History award from the College Art Association.