Tamar Garb is Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art. She graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town with a BA in Art (1978). In 1980, she was awarded an MA in Art Education from the Institute of Education at the University of London, and in 1982 she graduated with an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art. While working part time in secondary and higher education, she completed her PhD at the Courtauld Institute in 1991. Tamar was appointed as Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute in 1988 and at UCL in 1989, and was promoted to Reader in 1995 and Professor in 2001. Her research interests have focused on questions of gender and sexuality, and the woman artist and the body in nineteenth and early twentieth century French art. She has published extensively in this field, and some of her key publications include Sisters of the Brush: Women’s Artistic Culture in Late Nineteenth Century Paris (Yale University Press, 1994); Bodies of Modernity: Figure and Flesh in Fin de Siecle France, (Thames & Hudson, 1998) and The Painted Face, Portraits of Women in France 1814 -1914 (Yale University Press, 2007). Her latest publication in this area is The Body in Time: Figures of Femininity in Late Nineteenth-Century France, (University of Washington Press, 2008). She has also published on questions of race and representation, and in 1995 she collaborated with Linda Nochlin on a volume of essays entitled The Jew in the Text; Modernity and the Construction of Identity (T&H). In 2010, she acted as External Exhibition Consultant on Gauguin: Maker of Myth for the Tate and as Consultant Editor on the accompanying catalogue.
In addition, Tamar has written about contemporary artists including Nancy Spero, Christian Boltanski, Massimo Vitali and Mona Hatoum. In 2007, she curated the exhibition ‘Reisemalheurs,’ which situated the paintings of the New York-based, South African artist, Vivienne Koorland in the Freud Museum, London.
Her interests have turned recently to post-apartheid culture and art as well as the history of photographic practices in Southern Africa. In 2008, she curated an exhibition on Landscape and Language in South African Art entitled Land Marks/Home Lands; Contemporary Art from South Africa at Haunch of Venison Gallery in London. In April 2011, her exhibition Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The show was nominated for a Lucie award in Curating. She is currently curating a series of exhibitions for the Walther Foundation, New York and Germany, entitled ‘Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive’ and is a Leverhulme Research Fellow for 2012-2014.