What's It All About?

Join art historian Julia Friedman as she interviews Gene Cooper about his decades-long friendship with Wayne Thiebaud.

Museum members: $7
Non-members: $13

Julia Friedman is a Russian-born art historian, writer and curator. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from Brown University in 2005, and has since researched and taught in the US, UK and Japan. Her trans-disciplinary work on European Modernism, Russian emigration and book art resulted in the illustrated monograph Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism: Alexei Remizov’s Synthetic Art published by Northwestern University Press in January 2011. While in Tokyo, she became a regular contributor to Artforum, and in 2017 she began writing for The New Criterion magazine. In 2016 she compiled and edited Dustbunnies and Wasted Words—two pendant volumes based on the electronic writings of the art critic Dave Hickey. Since then, she has published essays and articles about political art, Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings, art history and pornography, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the aesthetics of #MeToo, President Trump’s classical architecture executive order, NFTs, Johannes Vermeer, Philip Guston, and George Orwell. In 2020 she was interviewed for the new Netflix documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (2021) directed by Joshua Rofé.

Gene Cooper is a native Southern Californian. He did graduate studies in Art History (Japanese, Modern French & American) at several universities including University of Hawaii, UCLA, and USC. He was a professor of Art History at University of Bridgeport Connecticut and California State University Long Beach.

Mr. Cooper retired in 2003 and since then has turned to painting on a daily basis. This routine is occasionally interrupted by a study trip or an academic project such as a public lecture, writing an article, or curating a show (e.g. “Wayne Thiebaud…”, Laguna Art Museum).

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