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23 mai 2013 4 23 /05 /mai /2013 08:52



Judith Wechsler  judith-wechsler.jpeg


   J'ai fait récemment la connaissance d'une grande dame, à la grande culture, professeur d'université aux USA, qui a produit de nombreux articles, livres et films (voir la liste ci-dessous), dont une vingtaine de documentaires sur l'art, diffusés sur Arte.


D'origine allemande -son père était ami avec Gershon Scholem, lui-même grand ami de Walter Benjamin- elle vit désormais à Boston. De passage à Paris, où elle étudie la période des "passages parisiens" de W.Benjamin, pour sortir un film en 2014, elle est venu passer quelques jours à Collioure, dans le vieux quartier du Mouré. 


J'ai eu le plaisir d'accompagner Judith à Port-Bou car elle désirait voir l'hommage architectural de Dani Karavan au philosophe juif. A travers la petite ville, depuis la gare et la route qui passe dessous, comme sous une grotte énorme à l'armature colossale, jusqu'au petit cimetière marin, J. Wechsler a filmé quelques sènes et repéré les lieux. Je lui ai dédicacé mon livre sur "Le chemin ultime de W.B.". J'attends de voir son film avec impatience !

Une belle journée à la frontière...


  • 1_Family_Portrait.jpg
  • Anne, Nahum, Daniel and Judith Glatzer, 1941
  • website.jpg
  • 2004, with husband, Ben Snyder

Judith Wechsler is an art historian primarily of 19th century French art, who has engaged in interdisciplinary studies: the intersection of art and theater, art and film, caricature and physiognomy, art and science. Her book, A Human Comedy: Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th Century Paris, focuses on Daumier in a political and historical context. She has published articles and catalogue essays on Daumier including “Gender and Gesture in Daumier,” “Movement in the Drawings of Daumier: Still and Still Moving,” and two films on Daumier, “Daumier Paris and the Spectator,” directed with Charles Eames and “Daumier. One Must be of One’s Time,” made for the Daumier exhibition in Paris and broadcast in France and the US. Her books, The Interpretation of Cézanne and Cézanne in Perspective (ed and intro) have been widely used. More recently she has written on “Sensation and Perception in Cézanne.” Wechsler’s interest in drawing is evident in her 1999 book Le Cabinet des dessins. Daumier, and a film commissioned by the Louvre, “Dessiner, la main qui pense” “Drawing the Thinking Hand“ (in its English version.)

From her years at MIT, Wechsler edited a book On Aesthetics in Science, which has gone through several editions and translations. She has written a catalogue essay “Caricature of medicine,“ and “Lavater, Stereotype and Prejudice,” on anti-semitic attitudes in physiognomic theory. Wechsler has explored relationships between art and theater in the 19th century, in her essay, ”Ophelia and the Representation of Madness,” and curated an exhibition in Paris on the actress Rachel, co-edited the catalogue and contributed an essay on the representations of Rachel. In collaboration with La Comédie Francaise, she directed a film on Rachel. In France, she has lectured and/or presented her films lectures at the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, the Comédie Francaise, Musee de l’Orangerie, Musee d’art et d’histoire du judaisme, and L’Institut national de l’histoire de l’art.

Wechsler has made some 26 films on art, informed by her scholarship. The French government awarded her a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des letters. In 2010 she was a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2010. She has been the recipient of 7 NEH grants, 2 NEA grants, and a Mellon faculty fellowship. In addition to teaching 7 years at MIT, she has been professor of art history at the Rhode Island School of Design, and was the NEH Professor at Tufts from 1989-2010. She has been visiting professor at Harvard,The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, The Ecole Normale Superieure, in Paris and The University of Paris. In 2012, she is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem and a Fellow at the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy.

Judith Wechsler

Academic Appointments

  • Professor Emerita, Tufts University, 2011-
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Professor, Tufts University, 1989-2010
  • Chair, Department of Art and Art History, Tufts University 1990-1995
  • Professeur invité, Passerelle des Arts, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, spring 2003
  • Professeur invité, l’Histoire de l’Art, L’Université de Paris X, spring 1999
  • Zachs Visiting Professor, Art History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1994,1996, 2008
  • Visiting Professor, Fine Arts, Harvard University, 1989
  • Professor and Associate Professor, Art History, Rhode Island School of Design, 1981-89
  • Visiting Lecturer, Fine Arts, Harvard University, 1982
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusettes Institute of Technology, 1977-79
  • Associate Professor and Assistant Professor, History of Art, Massachusettes Institute of Technology, 1970-1977
  • Lecturer, Brown University, spring 1970


  • Brandeis University. BA. 1962
  • Columbia University. MA. 1967
    Thesis. “The Iconography of the Song of Songs in 12th and 13th Century Latin Bibles”
  • University of California at Los Angeles. PhD. 1972
    Thesis: “Major Trends in Cézanne Interpretation”



  • Rachel, une vie pour le théatre, 1821-1858. (ed. with H. Hoog), Biron,Paris,2004
  • Le cabinet des dessins. Daumier. Flammarion, Paris, 1999
  • The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer (ed. with M. Fishbane). Hebrew Union College Press, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1998
  • The Issue of Caricature (ed.). Art Journal, vol. 43, no.4, College Art Association, New York, NY, 1984
  • A Human Comedy: Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th Century Paris, University of Chicago Press and Thames and Hudson, Ltd., London, 1982
  • Japanese translation of A Human Comedy (1982). Arina Shobo, Tokyo, 1987
  • On Aesthetics in Science (ed.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1979, pb edition, 1981, Birkauser edition, 1983
  • Japanese translation of On Aesthetics in Science (1978). Hakusyosha, Tokyo, 1986
  • Italian translation. L’Estetica Nella Scienza. Editori Riuniti. Roma, 1982
  • Spanish translation, Sobrel La Estettiica de la Ciencia, Mexico City, 1982
  • The Interpretation of Cézanne. UMI Research Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1981
  • Cézanne in Perspective (ed.). Prentice-Hall, 1975

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

  • “Robert Frank: The Passage from Photography to Film,” Ligiea, Dossiers sur l’art. Peinture et Cinéma. Picturalité de l’Image Filmée de la Toile a l’Ecran. (a publication of the CNRS), January 2010.
  • “Drawing for film: William Kentridge and Ruth Lingford.” Ligiea…. December 2007. XXe année, no. 77-80.
  • “Meyer Shapiro’s Writings on Modern Art,” College Art Association Reviews, September 2003
  • “Ophelia and the Representation of Madness,” Theatre Survey, 2002
  • “The Illustrations to Samuel Beckett,” Art Journal, Winter, 1994
  • “The Filming of Art,” Daedalus, Fall, 1985
  • “The Spectator as Genre in 19th Century Paris,” Popular Traditions and Learned Culture in France, Stanford French and Italian Studies 35, 1985
  • “Caricature, Newpapers and Politics: Paris in the 1830,” Studies in Visual Communication, 1981
  • “Judith Wechsler et son livre sur le Paris du XIX Siécle,” Nouvelles de l’estampe, 1979
  • “An Aperitif to Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Jan. 1978

Edited Collections/Chapters in Books

  • “Daumier and Censorship, 1866-1872,” Out of Sight: Political Censorship in the Visual Arts in Nineteenth Century France, Yale French Studies, vol. 22, 2013.
  • “Daumier and Censorship” Cartoon America, Library of Congress, Abrams, N.Y. 2006.
  • “Parisian Panorama,” Cities and Suburbs, an introduction to comparative cultural studies. NTT Publishing Co. Tokyo, 2004
  • “L’artiste et son modelle,” Tim: Etre de Son Temps, Herscher, Paris, 2003
  • “Daumier juge la justice,” La Justice de Daumier à nos jours, Somogy, Paris, 1999
  • “Cézanne: Sensation/Perception,” Cézanne aujourd’hui, Musée d’Orsay, 1997 [articles based on conference proceedings]
  • “El Lissitsky’s Interchange Stations: The Spirit and the Letter.” The Jew in the Text, ed. L.Nochlin and T. Garb. Thames and Hudson, Ltd. London, 1995
  • “Bewegung und Zeit in den Zeichnungen Daumiers,” Honoré Daumier, Zeichnungen, Stuttgart, 1993
  • “Movement in the Drawings of Daumier: Still and still moving.” Translation of “Bewegung und Zeit in den Zeichnungen Daumiers.” In Daumier Drawings, Abrams, 1993
  • “Lavater, Stereotype and Prejudice,” The Faces of Physiognomy, Camden House, N.J.1992
  • “Art History and Films on Arts,” Art on Screen, Metropolitan Museum of Art, G.K. Hall, 1992
  • “Caricature and Medicine,” The Picture of Health, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1992
  • “Daumier: Gender and Gesture,” Femmes d’esprit. Women in Daumier’s Caricature, University Press of New England, Lebanon,N.H. 1990.
  • Gyorgy Kepes the MIT years, 1947-1977. MIT Press, 1978
  • “A Change in the Iconography of the Song of Songs in XII and XIII century Latin Bibles,” Texts and Responses. Brill, 1975

Catalog Essays

  • Daumier and the Saltimbanques, “Daumier ist Ungeheuer” Exhibition Berlin, Stiftung Brandenburg Tor in Max Lieberman Haus, 2013
  • “Daumier and Allegory.” Exhibition catalog. Royal Academy of Art, London, 2013
  • Hugh Townley. Wheaton College, 2008
  • Cézanne’s Bather and Matisse drawing for Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 2009.
  • “Impressionism” and five catalogue entries on Pissarro and one on Forain for Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in the Israel Museum. Abrams, N.Y. 2006
  • “Images de Rachel,” Rachel, une vie pour le théatre. Biron, Paris, 2004
  • Entries on Paul Cézanne, Lyonel Feininger, in Masters of Color-Derain to Kandinsky—Masterpieces from the Merzbacher Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2003
  • “Shirley Jaffe, les jouissances du jeu,” Shirley Jaffee. Musée Céret, 1999
  • Hugh Townley. Newport Art Museum, 1984
  • Robert Moskowitz, Hayden Gallery, MIT, 1971


  • Segolene LeMen, Courbet. Sehepunkt/Kunstgeschichte, Ausgabe 10 (2008)
  • Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. The Most Arrogant Man in France: Gustave Courbet and Nineteenth Century Media Culture Sehepunkt/ Rezensions-journal fur dies Geschichtswissenschaften Ausgabe 8 (2008) nr. 1
  • Ross King, The Judgement of Paris. Manet, Meissonnier and an Artistic Revolution, Rezensiert von: Sehepunkte 7 (2007), Nr. 1
  • Mary Gluck, Popular Bohemia. Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth Century Paris, Sehepunkte. Ausgabe 6 (2006) nr.3.
  • John Harvey, “Men in Black,” Essays in Criticism, 1997
  • Anne McCauley, “Industrial Madness,” “Molly Nesbit, Atget’s Seven Albums,” The Art Bulletin. 1995
  • “Julian Schnabel. A propos de son film, “Before Night Falls,” Zeuxis. Films sur l’Art., no. 3, 2001.
  • Artforum. 5 Reviews, 1967
  • “Why Scale? Scale in American Sculpture in the 1960s,” Art News, 66, 1967

Films (selected)

  • Nahum Glatzer and the German Jewish Tradition, 60 min. 2011. Distributed by National Center for Jewish Film.
  • Gustave Courbet: Dreaming the Modern, 26 min., 2009. A film for the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt.
  • Le Dessein de Nymphéas, [English version—“Monet’s Waterlillies: Design and Intention”] in collaboration with Jean-Paul Fargier. 45 minutes, 2007 commissioned by Musée National de l’Orangerie, Paris, for its reopening.
  • Les Nympheas: le grand reve de Monet: 52 min, 2006. Directed by Jean-Paul Fargier in collaboration with Judith Wechsler. A film for France 5 television.
  • Rachel de la Comédie-Francaise, 52 minutes. In co-production with La Comédie-Francaise, Paris and L’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel. 2003. Première, Comédie-Francaise. (Rachel of the Comedie Francaise is being distributed by the The National Center for Jewish Film, Brandeis University, Lown Building 102, MS 053, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, (781) 736 8600 main office)
  • Honoré Daumier: Il faut être de son temps, 52 minutes. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris. 1999. Première, Musée du Louvre, Paris.
  • Honoré Daumier, One must be of one’s time (USA première), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  • Image and Enterprise: The Photography of Adolph Braun, 22 minutes. Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C. 1998
  • Dessiner, la main qui pense, 53 minutes. Musée du Louvre, Paris. 1996. Première, Louvre, Paris
  • Titian: ‘Venus and Adonis.’ 20 minutes. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. 1994
  • Harry Callahan, 30 minutes. Distributed by Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York. 1993
  • Aaron Siskind: Making Pictures, 30 minutes. Distributed by MOMA. 1991
  • Jasper Johns: Take an Object, with Hans Namuth, 30 minutes. Distributed by MOMA. 1991
  • The Painter’s World: Changing Constants of Art from the Renaissance to the Present. 1984-89
    Six 30-minute films broadcast by WGBH-TV, Boston and Channel 4, London:
    • The Training of Painters
    • The Artist and the Nude
    • The Arrested Moment
    • Portraits
    • Abstraction
    • Painting and the Public
  • Edouard Manet:Painter of Modern Life, 30 minutes. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. 1982
  • Pissarro: At the Heart of Impressionism, 20 minutes. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1981, Distributed by MOMA.
  • Cézanne: The Late Work, 10 minutes. Co-directed with Charles Eames, 1978
  • Daumier, Paris and The Spectator, 18 minutes. Co-directed with Charles Eames, 1977

Exhibitions Curated

  • Rachel, une vie pour le théatre, 1821-1858. Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaisme, Paris, 2004
  • Honoré Daumier, Brandeis University, 1990
  • Robert Moskowitz, Hayden Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971

Lectures and Screenings (selected)

  • Screenings of “Nahum Glatzer and the German Jewish Tradition” at Alliance Israelite Universelle, Paris, 2011; Center for European Studies, Harvard; Brandeis University; Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem; Goethe Institute, Jerusalem; American Academy in Berlin; University of Frankfurt. 2012
  • Lecture at Ben Gurion University, Israel, “Puns and Permutations in 19th century political caricature.” 2012
  • Lecture at Sam Spiegel Film School, Jerusalem, “Making films on Art” 2012
  • University of Lausanne, conference on Art on Film, lecture, panel discussing my work and screenings of my films at the Lausanne Cinemathèque. 2011.
  • Mini series of my films at the Wadsworth Athenaeum and Charter Oak Cultural Foundation, 2011
  • “Nahum N. Glatzer and the Transmission of German-Jewish Learning,” American Academy Berlin and University of Heidelberg, 2010, Boston University, 2011.
  • College Art Association, Paper, “Daumier’s New Women”, 2009.
  • “Filming Daumier,” colloquium Art, Perception, Cognition, Ecole Normale Superieur and
    INHA (Institut National de l’histoire de l’art, Paris). 2008
  • Conference on photography and film Ecole Normale Superieur and INHA (Institut National de l’histoire de l’art, Paris). Invited paper and screening. Movement in the photographs of Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, 2008
  • Screenings and introduction of “Monet’s Waterlillies” at Wadsworth Athaneum, Technion, Haifa, Department of Landscape Architecture, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Dept of art history and French dept. 2008
  • Screening of Rachel de la Comedie Francaise, Hebrew University, Dept of art history and theater department. 2008
  • Screening of Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2008
  • “Daumier, Political Women, Allegorical Women.” Colloquium, Linda Nochlin and the Legacy of Feminism, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2007
  • “Monet’s WaterLillies,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2007
  • “Puns and Permutations in Daumier and Grandville” Keynote address for Graduate Student Annual Symposium, at Boston University, 2006
  • “Ungerer and the Tradition of Caricature,” Boston Public Library, Ungerer Symposium, 2005
  • “Rachel and Romanticism” a screening of the Rachel film. Dahesh Museum, 2005
  • “Répresenter Rachel à l’écran,” Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, 2004
  • “Dessiner pour Penser,” in series “Art, Creation, Cognition.” Ecole Normale Supérieure, 2003
  • “The Spectator in 19th Century Paris, ”Dartmouth College Summer French Institute, 2002
  • Respondant at conference, “Modern Jewry and the Arts,” University of Pennsylvania, 2001
  • Chaired session, Daumier Colloquium, Musée d’Orsay, 2001
  • “Daumier and Contemporary Caricature” Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, co-organized and co-chaired panel, in conjunction with the Daumier exhibition, 2001
  • “Daumier and Pat Oliphant,” Philips Collection, Washington, D.C. 2001
  • Films du Louvre, L’Oeuvre en Direct. Series, Essais d’interpretation. Dessiner, la main qui pense, 2001
  • Painting Style/Filming Style. Conference on Rembrandt on Film, Stadel Museum, Frankfurt-am Main, 2000
  • Inaugural lecture, “El Lissitzky et le sens mystique de la lettre, ” Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaisme, Paris, 1999
  • “The Hebrew Letter as icon and index in the early work of El Lissitzky,” in conference “Image, Icon, Text,” Princeton University, 1999
  • “The Spirit of the Hebrew Letter: Sign and Icon in El Lissitzky.” In conference “El Lissitzky, New Perspectives, ” Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 1998
  • Keynote address. “Ophelia and the Representation of Madness,” International Theater Conference. Mainz, Germany, 1998
  • “Making a film on Jasper Johns” Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in series “Art History and Film,” 1998
  • Drawing, the Thinking Hand. Talk and screening at Carpenter Center, Harvard University, 1997
  • Drawing, the Thinking Hand. Städel Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1997
  • “Cézanne: Sensation/Perception,” Cézanne symposium. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1996
  • “Cézanne: Sensation/Perception.” Cézanne colloquium. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, 1996
  • “La Pantomime et le Moment photographique” Nadar Colloquium, Musée d’Orsay, 1994
  • “Making films on Art.” Filmmakers colloquium, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1994
  • “To see and be seen: perspectives on the spectator,” Nadar Symposium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, 1992
  • “Lavater, Stereotype and Prejudice,” Lavater Conference. Dartmouth College, 1992
  • “Daumier’s Parisian Types.” Sacker Memorial lecture, Mt. Holyoke College, 1992
  • “Art History and the Art Market.” Sacker Memorial Lecture, Mt. Holyoke College,1991
  • Organized conference “Art History and Film,” Tufts University. Program for Art on Film, sponsored by Metropolitan Museum of Art and J. Paul Getty Trust, 1991
  • “Sound and Images in Films on Art.” Conference. Program for Art on Film and USC School of Cinema-TV, sponsored by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and J. Paul Getty Trust, 1991
  • Respondent. Session on Caricature and Comics. College Art Association, 1991
  • Moderator of panel “Creative Solutions: The Challenge of Art on Film.” Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, 1990
  • “Towards a Theory and Practice of Art on Film.” College Art Association, 1990
  • “Illustrations to Samuel Beckett’s Books.” Technische Universität, Berlin, 1989
  • “From Rhetoric to Slang in Daumier’s Gestures” Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 1989
  • “Daumier’s Body Language,” Caricature conference. University of Toronto, 1989
  • “Science, Humanities, and the Arts,” Organized and chaired panel. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1989
  • “Models and Metaphors in Art and Science: Cross –Disciplinary Exhibitions,” New England Museum Association, 1989
  • “Filming Art.” Lecture and screening of my films. American Academy of Arts and Science, Cambridge, MA. 1989
  • “Daumier and the Theater,” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1989
  • “Daumier and the Physiognomic Tradition” Daumier Colloquium, University of Bielefeld, Germany, 1984
  • “Making films on art.” Lecture and screening of Cézanne, Pissarro, Manet. American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA. 1984
  • “The Depiction of the Passions from the 17-19th Century,” Institute for the Humanities, New York University, 1984
  • “Films on Art,” MIT Conference on New Media, New Technologies, 1983
  • “Art Historian as Filmmaker,” College Art Association, 1982
  • “Pissarro, Impressionism, and the Image of the City,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 1981
  • “Films for Museums,” American Association of Museums, 1981
  • “Painting Styles and Camera Moves,” Stanford University Design Conference, 1981
  • “Aesthetics in Science” keynote address for conference on art and science, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1979
  • “Mininmalism and Industrial Fabrication,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1979
  • “Science and Aesthetic Sensibility” Semiotic Society annual meeting, Brown University, 1979
  • “Daumier and the Spectator,” symposium, “Popular Sources of Realism and Romanticism,” University of California, Santa Barbara, 1977
  • Organized, chaired and introduced symposium “Science as Drama,” American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1976
  • Organized, chaired, and introduced lecture series “Humanitas: an Evolving Perspective.” Technology and Culture. Massachusettes Institute of Technology, 1975-76
  • “Romanticism and the Rise of Subjectivity in 19th Century Painting,” Yale University, 1975
  • Invited Participant, Conference on Science and Values: an Interdisciplinary Approach, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1975
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  • professeur de lettres, écrivain, j'ai publié plusieurs livres dans la région Languedoc-Roussillon, sur la Catalogne, Matisse, Machado, Walter Benjamin (éditions Balzac, Cap Béar, Presses littéraires, Presses du Languedoc...
  • professeur de lettres, écrivain, j'ai publié plusieurs livres dans la région Languedoc-Roussillon, sur la Catalogne, Matisse, Machado, Walter Benjamin (éditions Balzac, Cap Béar, Presses littéraires, Presses du Languedoc...