As a specialist in engaged art history, Laura Holzman activates art, its history, and its institutions to strengthen communities, expand democratic discourse, and pursue equity. She holds a BA in art history with highest honors from Swarthmore College and a MA and PhD in visual studies from the University of California, Irvine.
In addition to her role on Herron’s art history faculty, Dr. Holzman is Director of the Museum Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Her art history and museum studies courses focus on topics such as public art, creating exhibitions, museum history and theory, and urban visual culture. She periodically teaches a study abroad course about cultural memory through Herron’s summer program in Central Europe. Her classes regularly meet at nearby museums or at sites around the city where students can learn directly from the local environment and work with partners outside of the university.
Dr. Holzman is the author of Contested Image: Defining Philadelphia for the 21st Century (Temple University Press, 2019), which analyzes public discourse, historical art, and the struggle to shape Philadelphia’s reputation during an important moment of change in the city. Her work has been published in edited volumes, academic journals, and the popular press. She regularly collaborates with students, arts administrators, and other community members to develop exhibits, artwork, and public programs within and beyond Indianapolis.