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Alumni Updates

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Since the department’s founding, thousands of undergraduates have taken our courses and scores have graduated from Cornell with a major or minor in  the History of Art.  Even after graduation our Alumni have continued to be involved with the department through a variety of programs and events. Every other year we organize a career symposium inviting our graduates to share their professional experiences with current students.  To build upon such tradition and strengthen connection between former and current students we have created this webpage where our dedicated Alumni can share stories about their life after Cornell. We hope that by sharing yours, and by reading the stories of other former students, you will be able to reconnect with the good old History of Art department and with your student experience. Enjoy!


Alumni Updates


Tara Goldman '55, I fondly remember my Art History classes with all the slides and the black and white prints we had to use to study for exams.  When I graduated, it was hard to find a job.  I finally found one in the billing department of Park Bernet Auction Galleries on Madison Ave. in NYC.[I was a NJ resident at the time]  That did not suit me, so when I was offered a position as an elementary school art teacher in the Fort Lee NJ School District, [where I had gone though school]  I accepted, started teaching, attended Columbia and received my Masters in Art Education.  My teaching career was short-lived as I resigned to raise a family and never went back to work. I cannot remember  the names of the professors or teaching assistants ,but I can still recognize most of the artists' work and names when I see their work in the many museums I love to go at home and when I travel.  My love of ART and ART HISTORY continues still after these 63 years.   


Allison Hall '60, Majoring in art history inspired me to learn how to develop my design skills, remodel an house, plan a drought-tolerant garden, paint in oils, create jewelry, posters, and clothing and incorporate art into my elementary students' lessons.  I've been retired for 4 years from careers in holistic health massage, counseling, and teaching and now make visits as a volunteer with my Therapy Dog to many sites and events including Kaiser Hospital, Las Positas College, and SDC classes in our local school district.


Jay E. Cantor '64, MA from Winterthur Museum, Metropolitan Museum Chester Dale Fellowship, Curated exhibitions at Wadsworth Atheneum and Old Sturbridge Village, inaugurated American Art department at Christie's USA and developed that department and museum services (20 years), Founding President and acting director, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, directed Catalog Raisonné of Mary Cassatt, authored book on Winterthur Museum, co-authored book on Childe Hassam, numerous articles and currently write column for American Fine Art magazine, Vice-Chairman of Winter Antiques Show in New York, Fine Arts appraiser. Donor to Johnson museum.


Judy Gleklen Kopff '68, After completing art history graduate studies in NYC, I moved to DC to live near my fiancé, Gary Kopff (Yale ’67, Cornell Johnson School of Management '71), whom I married in December 1969. My first job was at HUD evaluating community planning & development programs. I also worked developing evaluation guidelines at the US General Accounting Office, followed by positions at the Pentagon. After retirement I returned to the Office of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld followed by a Chief of Staff position managing policy for private security contractors. I’ve been very active in the Cornell Club of Washington & chaired DC’s Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network for more than 40 years. In 2005, I was the recipient of CCW’s Bondareff Award “for outstanding, significant, & continuous service to the Club.”  In 1996, I started volunteering as a clown for hospitals and local non-profits which included a trip to Vietnam to entertain children. In 2006 I gave a talk about my volunteer work at the Cornell Club of DC.

The Washington Post profiled our volunteer clowning in 2013 and CBS national TV news also aired a segment on our clowning.


Nicholas Adams '70,  I completed a PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts and then taught at Lehigh University and, for the last 28 years at Vassar College. As I had been Esther Gordon Dotson's thesis student (and she had been a student and faculty member at here) there was some satisfaction in teaching at Vassar. We were able to arrange an exhibition on J.B. Fischer von Erlach here with the photographs of Mark Ashton and then later smooth some of the paths towards publication of her book by Yale University Press. She was a very special person. My own career has been across numerous topics: books on military architecture of the 16th century; essays and articles on Renaissance urbanism and architectural drawings (Antonio da Sangallo the Younger); later books on the Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. There are exhibitions on architectural books––one recently in Buffalo, NY. At the moment I am working on a biography of the architect Gordon Bunshaft––publication, possibly, in 2019.