Biography

In the midst of a career as an academic art historian and museum lecturer, I found myself longing to create my own work instead of continuing only to analyze and explain the work of others.

As I became aware from the written testimony of their letters and journals that the artists who were the subjects of my scholarly research were motivated principally by their passion for nature, I realized that my similar feelings could be assuaged only through painting landscape.

Van Gogh, Gauguin, and many other avant-garde artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries wrote often that it is not an art-school curriculum that fosters original and meaningful work, but a love and attentive study of nature and of past great art from a variety of cultures. With many years of experience in both these activities, I felt prepared to embark on a new path as a painter without the more conventional preparation of a formal degree in studio arts.

After a few hours of advice in technical matters from my friend Mignonette Cheng, at that time a professor of painting at the University of Michigan’s College of Art and Design, I began to experiment with ways of actualizing my visions of landscape.

Education:
B. A. in Art History, University of Michigan
M. A. in Art History, University of Minnesota
Ph.D. in Art History, University of Chicago

Teaching:
Tyler School of Art/Temple University, Philadelphia
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The American University, Cairo, Egypt

Museum lectures:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Publication:
Maurer, Naomi Margolis. “The Pursuit of Spiritual Wisdom: the Thought and Art of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin”, Associated University Presses/Farleigh Dickinson, 1998.