GRAND RAPIDS – Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University has invited Nell Irvin Painter, one of the nation’s leading historians and an award-winning scholar and writer, to lecture in Grand Rapids. Painter will be in West Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. as part of an event to be held in the Ladies Literary Society at 61 Sheldon SE. The presentation is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.
“Dr. Painter is one of the most significant voices on one of the most sensitive issues for our society – the issue of race. Through her study of the history of the concept of whiteness, Dr. Painter illuminates the ambiguity and complexity of a deeply divisive issue,” said Oliver Evans, president of KCAD. “I am personally delighted that we are able to provide our students and the larger community with an opportunity to hear from someone of Dr. Painter’s stature.”
A graduate of Harvard University, Painter went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American history at Princeton University. She is the author of seven books and countless articles relating to the history of the American South. Her critically-acclaimed book, Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol, won the nonfiction prize of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and focuses on the life of the black abolitionist and women’s rights advocate. The New York Times described her most recent book, The History of White People, as “monumental in sweep” and praised the book as both a major and accessible treatment of a controversial and timely subject.
Painter has been a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American history, the Bunting Institute and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She has been a recipient of the Brown Publication Prize, awarded by the Association of Black Woman Historians and has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Painter was selected as the president of the Southern Historical Association for 2007 and president of the Organization of American Historians (2007-2008).
Painter earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2009 and is currently a graduate student in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Painter’s presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
As a part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design offers programs that prepare the college’s graduates for professional lives as artists and designers. KCAD’s undergraduate programs include art education, art history, digital media, fine arts, furniture design, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, metals/jewelry, painting, photography, and sculpture and functional art. For more information about KCAD, visit www.kcad.edu.