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Joanne Leonard

Distinguished University Professor Emerita



Curriculum Vitae
  • B.A., Social Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1962

Joanne Leonard has a distinguished record of achievement as an artist, scholar and educator; she is also a leader in the University’s academic development. Recognized internationally for her pioneering work in photo-collage, feminist issues and visual culture, she has earned the title Distinguished University Professor, one of the University of Michigan’s top honors and the first ever awarded to a faculty member in the School of Art and Design.

Leonard is among the few photographers - and even fewer women artists - to be included in Janson’s History of Art and Gardner’s Art Through the Ages. Her work has also appeared in a long list of critical theory texts and feminist studies, including Lucy Lippard’s From the Center and Domna Stanton’s Discourses of Sexuality from Aristotle to AIDS.

Leonard’s photographs have been widely exhibited at venues such as San Francisco’s De Young Museum, the Oakland Museum, the Pasadena (now Norton Simon) Museum, Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York, and the Whitney Downtown-Manhattan. Her work is also represented in collections of the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Detroit Institute of Art and the American Arts Documentation Centre at the University of Exeter, England, among many others.

Leonard has received grants for artwork and creative research from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for the Arts. A recipient of the Sarah Goddard Powers Award, she spent 6 weeks in 2004 academic year as visiting artist and scholar at the American Academy in Rome.

As an educator, Leonard has organized highly successful national and international conferences on the intersections of art, culture, history, and society. She has also been a tireless advocate for the inclusion of women, people of color, the learning disabled, and the hearing impaired in higher education. Her interdisciplinary courses, which combine theoretical and technological explorations, have placed her on the leading edge of higher educational studies, and she has earned recognition for her feminist practice and mentoring of graduate students. In recognition of her supervision of graduate thesis work in three programs ( Art, Women’s Studies and American Culture) she became the 2001 recipient of the John H. D'arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities.

Leonard has an article and 34 images published online at SFonline (The Scholar Feminist On Line), a web publication of New York’s Barnard Center for Research on Women, an illustrated text from Modern Fiction Studies, and illustrated statements about two works on the permanent web site of an exhibition, In Memorium, at Siena Heights University’s Klemm Gallery in Adrian, Michigan.