Associate Professor in Art History
Mathews will present The Past is Present: Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary German Art.
In Germany, art plays a major role in the public narrative of the Holocaust. Stories of victims, perpetrators, survivors, and their descendants that might otherwise have been forgotten or ignored are coaxed out of local histories by public artworks and monuments. The imagery of these artworks deals with the Holocaust on both individual and symbolic levels, addressing private losses as well as the enormous scope of National Socialist violence as a whole. As they give testimony to the past, might these artworks also offer opportunities for healing in the present?
Dr. Mathews received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin, writing on the role of the artist in public discourse in East and West Germany in the 1950s. In addition to writing and teaching on topics such as identity and memory in modern and contemporary art, Heather oversees the exhibition programs of two campus galleries and the University’s Permanent Art Collection.