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Shira Brisman

Shira Brisman (Center Fellow/Graduate Associate) is a doctoral candidate in the History of Art at Yale University specializing in Northern European art of the Early Modern era. Her current projects, which focus on German art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, can be characterized as responses to the following three questions: 1) How does art adjust its roles in response to technological change? 2) How might art, in times of religious conflict, shape and define communities? 3) How do the changing contexts of art: damage, displacement, and re-institutionalization, modify its meanings? Her dissertation, The Hand-Written Letter and the Work of Art in the Age of the Printing Press, examines how German artists at the turn of the sixteenth century—chiefly Albrecht Dürer—began to conceive of the hand-written letter as bearing message-sending properties analogous to the work of art. Between her undergraduate degree and returning to Yale for her graduate work, Brisman spent four years on the curatorial staff of the Jewish Museum in New York. She continues to occupy herself with questions surrounding the definitions of Jewish Art, its relationship to Modernism, and its troubled place within an art historical language built upon Christian theology and image-magic. In 2008 she was the Albrecht Dürer Fellow at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany. She is currently the Samuel H. Kress Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.

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