Media Arts Faculty and Staff
Elisabeth Roark Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Art
Hometown : Paoli, PA
Joined Chatham : 1996
Academic Areas of Interest
American Painting and Sculpture, Colonial-1900, Portraiture and Self-Portraiture, 1400-present, American and Italian Cemeteries and Cemetery Sculpture, Artist in Society, 1400-present, Museum Studies, Curatorial Studies, Museum Education
Personal Areas of Interest
Reading, Biking, Theatre, Music, visiting cemeteries and museums
Elisabeth (Beth) Roark coordinates the programs in Art History and Art Museum Studies, and also works with many Arts Management students. She is actively involved with the Chatham University Art Gallery, and keeps track of Chatham's permanent art collection, including over 600 works in the Cheryl Olkes Collection of African Art.
- BA, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, 1981
- MA, University of Pittsburgh, 1984
- Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1991
- “Keeping the Faith: The Catholic Context and Content of Justus Engelhardt Kühn’s Portrait of Eleanor Darnall, c.1710,” Maryland Historical Magazine, 109, no. 24 (Winter 2014), 390-427.
- "Painting," Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment, vol. II, Mark G. Spencer, ed., Bloomsbury Publishing USA, New York, February 2015.
- “John Vanderlyn,” Mark G. Spencer, ed., Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment, vol. II, 1067-68, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, New York, February 2015.
- “Gustave Hesselius,” and “John Hesselius,” Ina Deicke, ed., Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (Artists of the World), v. 72, De Gryter, Leipzig, December, 2011.
- “Andrew W. Mellon” (1300 words); “Pittsburgh” (900 words), for Joan Marter, ed., Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Oxford University Press, 2011. Mellon, v. 3, 279-81; Pittsburgh, v. 4, 128-30.
- "Embodying Immortality: Angels in America's Rural Garden Cemeteries, 1850-1900," Markers XVI: Journal of the Association of Gravestone Studies, 2007, 56-111
- "Paint for the many? Rereading William Sidney Mount's The Painter's Triumph," Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies, 27, 2004, 155-84
- "Bathing, Purity, and the Body: The Mikvah Project in Context," Art Works: A Publication of the American Jewish Museum, Fall 2004, 4-8
- Artists of Colonial America, 207 p. book, Greenwood Press, December 2003
- "Picturing Pittsburgh: The Catharine R. Miller Collection at Chatham College," Western Pennsylvania History, Winter 2001, 14-19
- "John Frankenstein's Portrait of Godfrey Frankenstein and the Aesthetics of Friedrich Schiller," American Art, March 2001, 74-83
- "Courbet's Joueurs des dames and 'La Vie de Boheme'," Gazette des Beaux-Arts, December, 1988, 277-80
- Technology Fellow, Chatham University, 2015-2017
- Kress Foundation/Council of Independent Colleges, selected for competitive fully paid week-long workshop, “Artistic Workshop Practices in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy,” Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama, July 2010
- Central Research Fund Grant, Chatham University, April 2008
- Kenan/NEH Faculty Development Grant, Converse College, 1991
- Luce Foundation Grant, June 1991
- Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1988-89
- Andrew W. Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh,1987-88
- Phi Beta Kappa, Allegheny College, 1981
- Pi Gamma Mu, Allegheny College, 1981
- Alden Scholar, Allegheny College, 1977-80
- Secretary, Omicron of Pennsylvania Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society
- Association for Gravestone Studies
- Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association
- Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
- College Art Association
- Curator of Chatham University Collections: Olkes Collection of African Art, University permanent collection, Arthur G. Smith Collection of Historic Pittsburgh Images, 2001-present
- Consultant, Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, 2007
- Coordinator, Chatham University Art Gallery, 2006-2010
- Session Chair, Cemeteries and Gravemarkers, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual meetings, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009
- Session Chair, Death in American Culture, Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2008
- Consultant and appeared in "A Cemetery Special" produced by Rich Sebak for the Public Broadcasting System, premiered nationally October 25, 2005
- Seminar Leader, Pittsburgh Teacher's Institute, Jan. 2000-Jul. 2005
- Division Chair, Arts and Design Division, 2003-2004
- Area Chair, American Art and Architecture, Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association Annual Meetings, 2004
- Session Co-Chair, Art and Work, Art as Work, American Studies Annual Meeting, 2002
- Assistant Curator of Education, Carnegie Museum of Art, 1992-1996
- Research Specialist, Carnegie Museum of Art, 1984-1987
- “From Milan to Pittsburgh: Allegheny Cemetery’s Porter Angel and the Mobility of Italian Cemetery Sculpture,” Migrating Objects: Material Culture and Italian Identities, Calandra Italian American Institute Annual Conference, Queens College (CUNY), New York City, April 29-30, 2016.
- “Transmigration/Transformation: Enrico Butti’s Angel of Evocation in Pittsburgh and Milan,” Rocky Mountain-Great Plains American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Regional Meeting, Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver, Denver, April 1-2, 2016.
- “Covert Catholicism in a Colonial Portrait: Justus Engelhardt Kühn’s Eleanor Darnall, c.1710,” Francis Scott Key Lecture Series, Maryland Historical Society Museum, October 1, 2015.
- “Angels and Effigies: Material and Spiritual Exchange in Italy’s Monumental Cemeteries,” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, March 31-April 5, 2015
- “Swedenborg, Sculpture, and American Cemetery Angels,” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, April 15-18, 2014.
- “Exquisite Death: The Art of Victorian Mourning,” Art at Noon, Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Oct. 1, 2010
- “Keeping the Faith: The Catholic Context and Content of Justus Engelhardt Kühn’s Portraits of Eleanor and Henry Darnall III, c.1710,” The Early Chesapeake: Reflecting and Projecting Conference, sponsored by Omohundro Institute at the College of William and Mary, Solomon’s Island and St. Mary’s City, MD, November 19-21, 2009.
- "In the Company of Angels: New Research on Rural Cemetery Sculpture," American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting, Boston, April 2007
- "Restoration and Historic Cemeteries," Field Session, National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference, Pittsburgh, October-November 2006
- "Embodying Immortality: The Tasks and Types of Angel Monuments in the American 'Rural" Cemetery, 1850-1900," Constructions of Death, Mourning, and Memory Conference, Woodcliff Lake, NJ, October, 2006
- "Assessing the Ordinary Angel: A Typology of Angel Monuments in America's 'Rural' Cemeteries, 1850-1900," Association for Gravestone Studies 29th Annual Conference, Doylestown, PA, Jun. 2006
- “Innocence and Italian Sculpture: Giovanni Benzoni’s Monument for Mrs. John Pendleton Kennedy in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery,” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, March 2006.
- “An American(ist’s) Dream: The Secrets and Significance of Early American Art, “ Art at Noon for the exhibition American Beauty: Painting and Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1770-1920, Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh, May 5, 2005.
- "Defending the Faith: The Catholic Context and Content of Justus Englehardt Kuhn's Portraits of Eleanor and Henry Darnall III, c. 1710, American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 2003
- "'Crafting' the Artist's Identity: Tompkins Matteson's Erastus Dow Palmer in His Studio, 1857," American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Houston, 2002
- "Paint for the many? William Sidney Mount's The Painter's Triumph and Johannes Oertel's The Country Connoisseurs and Popular Taste," Society for the Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, Harper's Ferry, WV, 1998
- "’Terrible Like Agamemnon's Son’: Schiller's Aesthetics in John Frankenstein's Portrait of Godfrey Frankenstein and American Art: Its Awful Altitude,” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, April 1998.
- "Images of Artists and Their Audience: Popular Taste and Professional Identity, 1830-1860," American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 1991
- "Courbet's Joueurs des dames and 'La Vie de Boheme,'" Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1986