Berthold Leibinger Fellow - Class of Spring 2010
National Endowment for the Humanities Professor, Art and Art History Department, Tufts University
Judith Wechsler is the National Endowment for the Humanities Professor Emerita at Tufts University, specializing in nineteenth-century French painting, drawing, and caricature, and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She received a BA from Brandeis University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from University of California in Los Angeles. Wechsler is the recipient of the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a Mellon Foundation Faculty Research Grant, multiple grants from National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, and six CINE Golden Eagle Awards for documentary films. Her body of work includes numerous books and articles, including Le Cabinet de dessins: Daumier (Flammarion, 1999), and A Human Comedy: Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th Century Paris (University of Chicago Press, 1982), in addition to 23 documentary films, among them Monet’s Waterlillies: Vision and Design (2007), Rachel de la Comédie-Francaise (2003), Honoré Daumier: One Must be of One's Time (1999), Drawing the Thinking Hand (1996), and Jasper Johns: Take an Object (1990). In 2011 Wechsler is editing the film entitled I Am A Memory Come Alive: Nahum Glatzer and the Transmission of German-Jewish Learning, which she was working on while at the American Academy as a Berthold Leibinger Fellow, in spring 2010. In fall 2011 she will receive the Miller Jewish Woman Filmmaker Award, and the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum will have a mini-retrospective of her films. The film will be shown at Harvard University in December 2011.
American Academy Project
Nahum Glatzer: Exile and Renewal
At the Academy, Wechsler will work on a documentary film about her father, Nahum N. Glatzer (1903-1990), a pre-eminent Judaic scholar and a significant figure in twentieth-century German-Jewish and American intellectual history. A student of Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, Glatzer became Buber’s successor at the University of Frankfurt and was author of numerous books and articles ranging from Franz Kafka to Jewish prayer. He began teaching at Brandeis University in 1950 and was chairman of the department of Near Eastern and Judaic studies for eleven years before taking up a position in 1973 at Boston University. Glatzer’s life is exemplary of the revivification of Judaic studies in a time of exile. The film explores the context of German-Jewish learning in which he developed and the theological, literary, and philosophical worlds to which he contributed.
Nahum N. Glatzer was born in Lemberg in 1903 and moved to Frankfurt-am-Main in 1920, where he encountered the philosophers Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber. Glatzer taught at the Juedisches Lehrhaus and then succeeded Buber in the lectureship on Jewish philosophy and ethics at the University of Frankfurt. »