WCA 50th Anniversary Interviews:
Mary D. Garrard
by Margo Hobbs
As a feminist art historian and former WCA President, I am honored and delighted to have had the opportunity to interview art historian Mary D. Garrard as part of the WCA Leadership Interview Project. Dr. Garrard shared her thoughts about the Caucus’ founding and its early years, WCA’s relationship to CAA, feminist art history, and leadership.
Mary D. Garrard was the second president of WCA from 1974 to 1976. She is an art historian specializing in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, who earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins, her MA at Harvard, and her BA at Newcomb College. She is an expert on the work of Artemisia Gentileschi and has written four books on the painter; the most recent is Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe (Reaktion Books, 2020). With feminist art historian Norma Broude, Dr. Garrard has edited three essential anthologies of feminist art historical writing, beginning with Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany, published in 1982.
Dr. Garrard is professor emerita at American University in Washington, DC, where she taught from 1964 to 2003. American University honored her and Dr. Broude in 2010 with the inaugural Feminist Art History Conference, “Continuing the Legacy: Honoring the Work of Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard.” The conference has continued to be held; the seventh was online this past September. (It’s a wonderful conference, where scholars from undergraduate to senior faculty present groundbreaking feminist work.) Dr. Garrard has been recognized with a WCA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, the CAA Committee on Women in the Arts (with Norma Broude) for their “pioneering feminist scholarship” in 2000, and the Virginia chapter of the National Organization of Women for “scholarly and professional contributions to the history of women in the arts” (also with Norma Broude).