Art historian Samantha Baskind named CSU’s first distinguished professor

Harmony Cardenas

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland State University announced that art historian Samantha Baskind has been named the institution’s first-ever distinguished professor.

“This is the first such honor given by the university to any member of faculty in its history,’’ CSU said in a news release. “She has attained this rank for her invaluable service, leadership, and limitless investigation.’’

The university cited Baskind for her contributions to the Department of Art and Design, its College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and to the university overall.

“I am pleased to represent Cleveland State University as the inaugural distinguished professor,” Baskind said in the news release. “My research comes home to CSU’s campus and reinforces my thoughts about teaching certain courses.”

Baskind, who earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joined CSU’s faculty in August 2004, after having taught at the University of Miami, where she held a joint appointment in art history and Judaic studies, and at James Madison University.

Baskind’s extensive research focuses on modern American art and Jewish American art and culture.

“Dr. Baskind’s contributions to Jewish studies and art history are second to none,” CSU President Laura Bloomberg, said in the news release. “Her incredible talent and passion for research has enriched the education of our students in many ways — not even to mention her chairing and serving on committees and advising student clubs and organizations. Dr. Baskind is truly one-of-a-kind and we are grateful to have her.”

Baskind’s courses and seminars cover both 19th- and 20th-century art, American visual culture, and Jewish art across borders, the university said. She has published six books on Jewish art history and more than 100 articles and reviews in the mainstream press, academic journals, and encyclopedias.

Her seventh book – a study of 19th-century sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Jewish sculptor who created Confederate monuments after the Civil War – is scheduled for publication in 2023.

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