Roxanne Goldberg

Bachelor of Arts 2015, Art History

Roxanne Goldberg is an arts writer and researcher, currently pursuing a PhD in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art and The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research on the long nineteenth century centers around encounters between the Ottoman Empire, Europe and the United States, particularly in relation to cross-cultural networks of artists, art dealers and art collectors, and histories and theories of collecting and exhibiting Islamic art. Prior to graduate school, Roxanne worked as an independent writer, editor and researcher in Berlin. While a student at GW, Roxanne curated Gallery 102 and interned at the Walters Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art / KW Institute for Contemporary Art, ArtSee, Bourgeon Magazine, International Arts & Artists, and (like any good GW student!) the House of Representatives.

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What excites you about the work you do? The work of a historian is much like that of a detective or an astronomer (as has been said by George Kubler). My job is to piece together fragmentary clues, to decipher and interpret the surviving, distorted signals of the past. It's an exciting challenge and I look forward to learning something new each day.

What is the most significant career experience you've had so far, and what made it meaningful to you? The curatorial internship I held at the Walters Art Museum in my final year at GW introduced me to Islamic art, the field in which I have chosen to specialize, and sparked my specific interest in collecting, hybrids and authenticity. The remarkably generous mentorship I received at the Walters convinced me of the value of a career as a museum curator and encouraged me to apply for graduate school.

Advice for current UHP students: Take as many electives in fields of even the mildest interest as you can! College is not a means to a job; it is an opportunity to gain a diversity of perspectives on the world. So go ahead and try your hand at learning Portuguese, take a creative writing class, or one on the history of jazz. You'll grow as a person, meet a different group of students, and be exposed to a new way of thinking. You may even discover a new passion.

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