As an internationally recognized specialist in engaged art history, Laura Holzman activates art, its history, and its institutions to strengthen communities, expand democratic discourse, and build a more equitable world. In 2021 she co-founded the Engaged Art History Community of Practice, which supports art historians around the world who embrace community collaboration and public address in their work.
In addition to her role on Herron’s art history faculty, Dr. Holzman is a core member 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 curatorial practice, exhibition design, museum history and theory, public art, 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 writing has appeared in a range of outlets including academic journals such as Panorama and Public Art Dialogue; edited volumes; and Newsweek Japan. She regularly collaborates with students, artists, arts administrators, community groups, and other partners to develop exhibits, artwork, and public programs within and beyond Indianapolis.