Reconfiguring history is Painter's main impetus. Her work as an artist is
supported by her transformative contribution as a leading historian to African
American studies, and the understanding of how institutional frames of gender
and race and Western canons of beauty act as social constructions.
By layering mixed processes, Painter combines found images through digital
manipulation. Self-portraits exploring revisions of her figurative self are
approached through her profound affinity with the trailblazing, cosmopolitan
African American artists of the early twentieth century.
Among her extensive list of accolades, the City of Boston declared Thursday,
October 4, 2007 as Nell Irvin Painter Day in honor of her Outstanding Book
Award from the Gustavus Myers Center.
Painter has received honorary
doctorates from many institutions, including Yale University and Dartmouth
College, and is the Edwards Professor of American History Emerita at
Princeton University. She has also received fellowships from the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, Guggenheim Foundation, and National
Endowment for the Humanities, to name a few. Her visual work has been
featured in 2014 in a solo exhibition at Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, as well as
in many group exhibitions, including at Paul Robeson Gallery, Rutgers–Newark,
NJ, Segal Gallery Montclair State, NJ, and Newark Public Library, NJ, among
Artist's website: www.nellpainter.com