Judith Wechsler is a scholar and educator of art history, as well as a filmmaker predominantly focused on the interdisciplinary studies of art, philosophy, science, sociology, politics and history. She has extensively examined the interweaving of art and theater, art and film, caricature and physiognomy, and art and science. Daughter of one of America’s most notable Jewish literary scholars, Nahum Glatzer, Wechsler received her BA from Brandeis University and her MA from Columbia University, then completed her PhD at the University of California at Los Angeles, writing her thesis on “Major Trends in Cézanne Interpretation.”
Wechsler has lectured and presented her films at renowned institutions including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou. In 2007, she was awarded with the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French government for her noteworthy contributions to the advancement of art within France and around the world. Wechsler has also received a number of National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants, as well as several fellowships throughout her career. She has taught at MIT, Rhode Island School of Design, Tufts, Harvard and the University of Paris, in addition to a number of other institutions worldwide.
Throughout the last forty-two years, Wechsler has made twenty-nine films that reflect upon her scholarship in art history and a variety of other realms of thought. First introduced to filmmaking in 1976 by Charles Eames, Wechsler was invited to assist in co-directing Daumier, Paris and the Spectator followed by Cézanne, the Late Work in 1977. As stated by Wechsler: “From Charles I learned a way of looking and filming that has greatly influenced me.” Wechsler’s filmmaking technique combines her studies of art and her early practices as a dancer to create the sense of motion and rhythm, while allowing for stillness and silence to urge the viewer to sincerely observe and consider the art and consciousness examined within her films. Recently, Wechsler has created several film portraits, including The Passages of Walter Benjamin (2014), Aby Warburg: Metamorphosis and Memory (2016), Svetlana Boym: Exile and Imagination (2017) and Isaiah Berlin: Philosopher of Freedom (2018). Her films are archived at both the Harvard Film Archive and at the Louvre. – Alexandra Vasile
For more information, visit her website.