Celia Stahr, PhD, developed a love of art and culture due to her many experiences traveling to Cuba, Mexico, East and Southern Africa, Western Europe, China, and every region of the United States. She has a background in modern and contemporary art history with a particular focus on issues of race and gender, as well as in African art and the diaspora. Stahr's research focuses on artists who cross cultural boundaries and the political, social, artistic, and psychological ramifications of such actual or imagined "border" crossings. These transnational or “traveling” artists have complicated the neat categories of modernist art history and forced scholars to ask important questions about the discipline and its eurocentric biases.
Stahr’s book Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist, which was published in 2020 by St. Martin’s Press, delves into Frida Kahlo’s personal and creative breakthroughs while living in the United States. The book received many positive reviews in publications such as the New York Times, Art in America, and Kirkus Review. It was named one of five art books to read in 2021 by Art New England and Booklist named it in their master list of Editors’ Choice: Adult Books of 2020. Stahr will appear in a 3-part BBC docuseries on Frida Kahlo that is slated to air in 2023.
- PhD, History of Art, University of Iowa
- MA, History of Art, San Francisco State University
- BA, English Literature, San Francisco State University
- Adjunct Professor in Art History, California College of the Arts
- Adjunct Professor in Art History, San Francisco Art Institute
- Adjunct Professor in Art History, San Francisco State University
- Adjunct Professor in Art History, Sonoma State University
Awards & Distinctions
- Frida in America named one of five art books to start 2021 by Art New England
- Frida in America included in Booklist's master list of Editors’ Choice: Adult Books of 2020
- Frida in America named one of five books to look forward to in 2020 by Jaime Herndon at The Woolfer
- Named one of 15 Noteworthy Art Professors in San Francisco, 2019
- Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist, St. Martin's Press, 2020.
- “Frida Kahlo, American Nationalism, and The New Mestiza Woman” in Essays on Women’s Artistic and Cultural Contributions 1919-1939, Edwin Mellen Press, editors: Paula Birnbaum and Anna Novakov, 2009.
- Amalia Mesa-Bains, Yong Soon Min, and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, Three Essays for Grove Art Online’s Updated Women Artists Project, Oxford University Press, editors: Whitney Chadwick, Aaris Sherin, and Christine Kuan, 2006.
- "Elaine de Kooning: A Notable American Artist" in Notable American Women, Harvard University Press, editor: Susan Ware, 2004.
- “Elaine de Kooning, Portraiture, and the Politics of Sexuality," in Genders, Issue 38, The University of Colorado Boulder, 2003.