Saturday, January 21, 2017

Nancy Austin CV on Design, Design Education for Women & the History of RISD

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2008-2017: Selected Projects

Women Founders & Leadership: RISD & the Art Club.” Making Her Mark - Symposium on the women founders of the Providence Art Club. (Saturday March 25, 2017)

The Women Who Founded RISD (Jan. 2017). Now available on

PechaKucha PVD for DesignxRI Week  "Imagine 19th c. Design Schools for Women", 2015

My Women's Fund of Rhode Island Blog post September 2, 2014

“The Utopian Promise of 19th c. Design Schools for Women”
Trade School/OurGoods collaboration at the Whitney Museum of Art, 2011

"Between 1848 and 1852, the first three design schools in America were opened by women for women in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. More cities founded design schools for both men and women in the years and decades that followed. This Trade School class starts with a talk about what this transformative design school movement meant for First Wave women, and for the next generation of women like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942) who became a sculptor and later founded the Whitney Museum. We will then transitions into a group discussion of how this history might inform the education of today’s artists and designers. For example, how can we best mentor one another towards subjective, creative, and economic freedom?"

“First Wave Feminism and the Ecology of Culture in RI”
First Annual Feminist Art History Conference in Honor of Norma Brode, American University, 2010

"Thomas Tefft's Plans for an Art Museum and Design School"
Guest Curator,  Providence Athenaeum

“Women and Social Entrepreneurship in American Design Education, 1848 – Now” International IDSA [Industrial Designers’ Society of America] Annual Conference, Miami, 2009

[book review] “Andrew Saint, Architect and Engineer: a Study in Sibling Rivalry,” in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (December 2009): 581-582.

[Three chapters in] Infinite Radius: founding the Rhode Island School of Design, ed. Andrew Martinez and Dawn Barrett. (2009): 171-242.

“Towards a Genealogy of Culture at the Rhode Island School of Design, 1876-1896.” 
Brown University PhD Thesis:
1.     “What a beginning is worth”: The Women’s Centennial Committee and Founding RISD                    
2.     “No Honors to Divide”: Mrs. Metcalf and the Trustees of the Women’s Centennial Fund
3.     A Place for Design: RISD at the Hoppin Homestead                           

4.     The Jones Bequest Lawsuit and the Meaning of a Museum at RISD

RISD Teaching ended: 1991-1999, 2003, 2008. Began Studio Austin Alchemy, 2008.

“Albert J. Jones: The New York Times’ Sculpture Critic in Italy, 1860-1876” 
City & the Book IV: Florence and the Americans, Florence, Italy (October 12, 2008). 
[See TLS February 27, 2009: 15.]

Footnotes (2008). A collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Caroline Woolard for the juried show, Cryptic Providence. Austin exhibited an iteration of this project at the RISD, Museum of Art (2009). []

Teaching RISD 2008-1991
Rhode Island School of Design, 1991-1999, 2003, 2008
History of Industrial Design - servicing 80 global students for one-T.U.; Design History seminars; Undergraduate Advanced Design Studio on Interactive Appliances; Graduate Studio Seminars in Design History and Theory; Graduate Studio Thesis Advisor and Critic; Business & Professional Practice for graduating seniors; Guest Critic in Graphic Design & Architecture Studios.

“The RISD Hybrid: Design and the Language of ‘Art’, 1876-96,”
The Winterthur Biennial Conference on “Rethinking Design” (2004).

“Defining the Design in RISD,” RISD Views (Spring 2003): 22-23.

“‘What a beginning is worth’: The Women’s Centennial Committee of Rhode Island & the Founding of RISD, 1875-77.” The American Seminar, John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization, Brown University (2002).

“What a Beginning is Worth,” RISD Views (Fall 2002): 4-5.

“Founding Notions of Design at RISD,” Founders Day Forum for RISD’s 125th Anniversary (2002).

“Industrialization and the Language of Art and Design,” College Art Association (2001).

Teaching Yale University, 2001-1999
History of Industrial Design; Thesis Critic, School of Architecture.

“The Jones Bequest and the Meaning of a Museum in 1890s Providence,” The Rhode Island Round Table, John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization, Brown University (2000).

“Educating American Designers for Industry, 1853-1903,” in The Cultivation of American Artists: Education and the Commerce of Art in 19th-century America, ed. Diana Korzenik. (American Antiquarian Society, 1997): 187-206.

“Early American Female Designers: Betsey Metcalf, Sophia Woodhouse, and Mary Dixon Kies,” College Art Association Annual Conference -Women’s Caucus (1996).

Session Chair - “Tracing Usable Legacies: The Production of Art in Modern Consumer Societies,” College Art Association Annual Conference (1994).

“Educating American Designers for Industry, 1854-1903,” 
American Antiquarian Society Conference: Education and the Commerce of Art in 19thc. America.

Consumption Communities in the 1990s,” 
College Art Association Annual Conference - Design Forum. 

1991: Began Teaching at RISD

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