Joyce Zemans

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Joyce Zemans

BA, MA (Toronto)

Professor Emerita
Department of Visual Art & Art History

An art historian, curator, cultural policy specialist and academic administrator, Joyce Zemans served as dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts (1985-88), acting director of the Graduate Program in Art History (1994-95) and chair of the Department of Visual Arts Department (1975-81) at York University.

She also held the Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies (1995-96) and was acting director of the MBA Program in Non-Profit Management and Leadership (2000-01). She currently directs the MBA Program in Arts and Media Administration in the Schulich School of Business at York.

Professor Zemans served as director of the Canada Council for the Arts from 1988 to 1992. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Waterloo and the Nova Scotia of Art and Design and is an Honorary Fellow of the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Joyce Zemans was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2002 in recognition of her contributions to Canadian arts and culture. In 2010, she was chosen to receive The Canadian Conference of the Arts’ Diplôme d’honneur for sustained contribution to the cultural life of the country.

Professor Zemans currently serves on the board of the Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University and of the Advisory Boards of the Toronto Arts Council, the Creative Trust, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management.

Among her other activities, she is a member of the Culture and Communications Committee of Canadian Commission for UNESCO and of the steering group for the Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities, for the Creative City Network of Canada. Previously she has served as president of the Laidlaw Foundation, as a member of the Prime Minister’s Canada-Japan Forum, a member of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Expert Advisory Committee on the Convention on Cultural Diversity, and a member of the Japan – U.S. Comparative Cultural Policy Project (U.C.L.A.): Cultural Policy Advisory Committee.

Professor Zemans’ research focuses on art history and cultural policy with specific reference to the Canadian experience and international comparative cultural policy.

Her publications include Museums after Modernism, Strategies of Engagement, co-editor with Griselda Pollock (Blackwell, 2007); Making Change: A History of the Laidlaw Foundation, co-editor with Nathan Gilbert (ECW Press, Toronto, 2001); The Revenants: Long Shadows: The Paintings of Tony Urquhart (University of Waterloo Art Gallery, 2002); Art Gallery Handbook III, editor (Ontario Association of Art Galleries, 2001); Comparing Cultural Policy: A Study of Japan and the United States, co-editor with Archie Kleingartner (Sage Press, 1999); Where is Here? Canadian Cultural Policy in a Globalized Environment (Robarts Centre, York University, l997); New Perspectives on Modernism in Canada: Kathleen Munn & Edna Tacon (Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, 1988);Jock Macdonald (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1985); Christopher Pratt(Vancouver Art Gallery, 1985); J.W.G. Macdonald: The Inner Landscape (Art Gallery of Ontario, 1981).

Book chapters include: “The History of Abstract Painting in English Canada”, in 20th Century Art in Canada, Oxford ( 2007); “What the Group of Seven would Say” (2000) and “Establishing the Canon: Nationhood Identity and the National Gallery’s First Reproduction Program of Canadian art” (1995) inBeyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity and Contemporary Art (McGill Queen’s Press, 2007); “One Hundred Musicians: Youth Arts Policy in Canada,” in Robin Wright, ed. Publication on youth arts (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2007); “Considering the Canon” in Choice Matters(Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2005); “First Fruits: The Paintings” in Bertram Brooker and Emergent Modernism (Provincial Essays, Vol. 7, 1989); “Varley, An Appreciation” in Fred Varley (Key Porter Press, Toronto, l997).