Inge Reist received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, specializing in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture and writing her dissertation on “Renaissance Harmony: The Villa Barbaro at Maser.” She has taught at Columbia and Rutgers Universities as well as at Hunter College and has published widely both on Italian art and on the history of collecting. She held a three-year pre-doctoral fellowship at The Frick Collection from 1980 to 1983 and, since 1984 she has been at Frick Art Reference Library as head of the Photoarchive, Chief of Research Collections and Programs, and, since 2007, as Director of the Center for the History of Collecting.
Evan Beard is the National Art Services Executive with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Headquartered in New York City, Evan leads the bank’s outreach to private and institutional art collectors, investors and artists nationwide. He works with a team of specialists who provide a suite of tailored offerings to a select group of families, auction houses, museums, endowments and foundations. An authority on art-related investing and financing, Evan directs the end-to-end provision of services to clients in the art world, including trust structuring and estate planning services, art-secured lending, financing and philanthropic services. Evan earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy. He also holds a Master’s degree in Classics from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Evan speaks regularly on art and exotic asset classes at major art fairs and investment conferences worldwide. He is a frequent media contributor to national news organizations regarding the intersection of art and finance, and supports a number of arts organizations.
Bruce Boucher was appointed Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum in May of 2016. He taught for over twenty years at University College London before entering the museum world as curator and head of European Sculpture, Decorative Arts, and Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (2002-2009). Bruce is the author of a number of books, among them: The Sculpture of Jacopo Sansovino (1991), Andrea Palladio: The Architect in his Time (1994, revised, 1998 and 2007), Italian Baroque Sculpture (1998), and Earth and Fire: Italian Terracotta Sculpture from Donatello to Canova (editor, 2001). He was Director of the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia from 2009-16. He has served on the steering committee or has been responsible for various exhibitions, including: Andrea Palladio (Haywood Gallery, 1975); The Genius of Venice (Royal Academy, 1983); Donatello e i suoi (Florence, 1986); Earth and Fire: Italian Terracotta Sculpture from Donatello to Canova (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Victoria & Albert Museum, 2001-2002). Bruce is a corresponding member of the Ateneo Veneto in Venice, a former president of the board of the Center for Palladian Studies in America, a former member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
Sylvia Brown is the eldest of the 11th generation of Browns in Rhode Island, and has been attracted to development economics since an early age. Following her BS and MA degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, she pursued a professional career in various aspects of international development, from Wall Street to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Ten years ago, a course in strategic philanthropy redirected her focus to the non-profit sector and eventually prompted a return to her Rhode Island roots. She has recently launched Uplifting Journeys, offering immersive donor education in locations around the world. Sylvia has two grown children. She and her husband Andrew West divide their time between Providence and London. She is the author of Grappling With Legacy: Rhode Island's Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse. Purchase it now.
James Delbourgo holds degrees from the University of East Anglia, Cambridge and Columbia and is Associate Professor of History of Science and the Atlantic World at Rutgers University. He has published extensive scholarly work on the history of early modern science and empire, collecting and museums, as well as articles for magazines such as the LA Review of Books, Cabinet Magazine and the Raritan Quarterly. He has held numerous fellowships and was Visiting Professor of History of Science at Harvard in 2016. Current projects include a history of collectors entitled Who is the Collector? and the globalization of the history of science narrative, entitled The Knowing World. His book Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum was published by Penguin and Harvard in 2017. Purchase it now.
Nina Diefenbach has been Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement, The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA since April 2016. She earned a B.A. in history from Trinity and an M.A. from New York University. The Barnes, which holds one of the world’s finest collections of art, promotes the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture. Prior to this appointment, Diefenbach spent 34 years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, including 12 years as vice president for institutional advancement.
Dr. Charles Ellis is an independent art historian who lives in Florence, Italy, a city which for many years has been the focus of his studies. Florence’s rich archival holdings have enabled him to pursue several projects, chief among which is a comparative study of the 18th-century collections and patronage of the 3rd Earl Cowper and of the Tuscan Grand Duke, Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine. A 2010 travel grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (London) enabled him to spend four months examining the Cowper Family archive, which had not previously been considered systematically. This research uncovered information about Cowper's patronage, his Florentine mansion and the contents of his collection. Closely related to these studies is Dr. Ellis’ continuing research into the richly documented collections of Florence’s 18th-century aristocratic families and the display of those holdings; thus, he has published on aspects of the collections of the Salviati, Gerini and Torrigiani families. He is currently working with art historian Deborah Gage on a future exhibition about the 3rd Earl Cowper and the Tuscan Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo. Dr. Ellis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1994.
Eva Fognell is curator of the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY. She holds a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Center and a Masters in Communications from Malmö University, Sweden. She is a member of the Otsego Institute for Native American Art History. She has published essays in numerous publications as well as edited works, most recently the 2nd edition of the Thaw collection catalogue raisonné, Art of the North American Indians: The Thaw Collection at the Fenimore Art Museum. Purchase it now.
Deborah Gage is an art historian, art dealer, and lecturer. Born in Zambia, she grew up in Kenya and the United States, and completed her education in England, where she attended the Study Centre of the Fine and Decorative Arts at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Ms. Gage began her career in 1971 in New York and in 1987 she established her own gallery, Deborah Gage (Works of Art) Ltd, in London, from which she sells works of art internationally. She sits as the current chair of the Getty Paintings Conservation Council, California. Ms. Gage’s ancestral home is Firle Place in Sussex, which has belonged to the family since 1497. She has for many years had the responsibility of research and the care of its collection. Since first becoming involved with the collection, she has been intrigued by the 3rd Earl Cowper, as a portion of the Cowper collection is housed at Firle Place. Since 2011 she has been collaborating with Dr. Charles Ellis on systematically researching the Cowper archives and working towards an exhibition devoted to the 3rd Earl Cowper, Pietro Leopoldo, and their place in 18th century Florence.
Dr. Amin Jaffer is the Curator of The Al Thani Collection for the Qatari royal family, and the International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s in London. Dr. Jaffer specializes in Indian art in the age of European influence. After earning his Ph.D. at the Royal College of Art in London, he spent 13 years as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he authored Furniture from British India and Ceylon (2001), Luxury Goods from India (2002) and Made for Maharajas: a Design Diary of Princely India (2006). He was co-curator of the V&A’s blockbuster 2004 exhibition Encounters: the Meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500-1800, which explored the artistic and cultural encounter between Europe and Asia following the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498. He also co-curated Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts and co-edited the accompanying catalogue. He lectures frequently in Europe, America and India and contributes regularly to journals and major newspapers.
Dr. Margot McIlwain Nishimura is the Director of Museums for the Newport Restoration Foundation. She has over 25 years experience in curatorial and academic positions. Previous appointments include lecturer and teaching positions at Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Cape Town, and New York University. With primary expertise in western medieval art and architecture and considerable knowledge of the history of the book in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Dr. Nishimura has curated exhibits at The J. Paul Getty Museum and published numerous times on the topic. In addition to her professional experience, she is the co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of the Providence Children's Film Festival and previously chaired the Nominating Committee of the Board of the Providence Athenaeum. Dr. Nishimura received a B.A. in History of Art from Smith College, where she graduated with high honors, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa; and received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in History of Art from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.
Howard Zar is Executive Director at Lyndhurst, one of the most important historic houses and museums in the US. Lyndhurst was the masterpiece of A.J. Davis, the Frank Lloyd Wright of the 19th century. A man of many parts, Mr. Howard was previously the Chief Marketing Officer at the Anti-Defamation League, and a partner and executive vice president of Porter Novelli's corporate communications practice, an investment banker with Merrill Lynch, and a Japanese art expert and auctioneer at Sotheby's. Howard received an MBA from the Yale School of Management, an MA from the Institute of Fine Arts and a BA cum laude from Princeton University.