Monday, June 4, 2012

Paula Harper, professor, critic, RIP

 ad reinhardt, black painting, (1960-66)

atRifF

i have sad news. paula harper, professor of art history @ the university of miami passed away yesterday after fighting a long battle with cancer.

paula was a great teacher, a keen critic and a loyal friend. she was honest, smart, and had a wonderful personality. art was her passion. through the years, she worked hard to build an audience receptive to critical discourse. the fact that she could see behind fads and art-static was appreciated by many artists and art lovers who followed her reviews for the miami news & art in america. dr. harper specialized in feminist art,* and was an expert in daumier. her article on christo's intervention in miami beach was widely read and discussed.  

paula had a gift for conversation. five minutes with her and you felt an irresistible need to adopt this old -at times cranky- lady. of all the things i can remember, it's her laughter that first comes to my mind. her laughter exhibited a rabelaisian mix of wit & straightforwardness, a youthful laughter that dissolved every day banality and self-indulgence into risible un-resentment.

paula harper will be missed, but not really. she is here with us.
____________
* particularly judy chicago. see womanhouse.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

beautiful words, well deserved. rip dear paula. RI

Feminista said...

Triff, could you post if there are any memorial services? I took her class back in the early 1990's. She was an amazing woman.

Alfredo Triff said...

let's see how it unfolds. i'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alfredo. I just found out through your site that Dr. Harper passed away. Thanks for your note. She will certainly be remembered by her students.
Judith Gordon

Anonymous said...

I learned a lot in Dr. Harper's class. She was old style and had a nice sense of humor.