Nancy G. Heller is a professor of Modern & Contemporary Art History at the University of the Arts. Before coming here, she taught at the University of Maryland (College Park), Texas A & M (Commerce) and Georgetown University. Her most recent books are the 4th revised-and-expanded editions of Women Artists: An Illustrated History (Abbeville Press) and Why a Painting is Like a Pizza: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Modern Art (Princeton University Press). She has also written or contributed to six other books in her main areas of expertise: women artists, abstract and other nontraditional art, and Spanish dance. Dr. Heller has published feature articles and reviews in both scholarly and popular periodicals, including Dance Chronicle, American Art, Sculpture magazine, American Ceramics, ARTnews, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. For five years, she was the sole U.S. contributor to the London-basedFlamenco International Magazine.
Heller has presented papers at scholarly conferences in Spain, Portugal, Italy, England and Romania, and all across the U.S. She has given guest lectures at art museums and other organizations in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.
Dr. Heller has won awards from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the American Association of University Women, the Richard C. Von Hess Foundation and the government of Spain.
At UArts, Heller teaches a variety of courses, including “Women Artists,” “American Art Before 1945,” “American Art Since 1945,” “Modern European Art,” “Spain After Franco: The Flowering of the Arts Since 1945” and “Dirty Pictures: A History of Art Censorship.”
Originally a French major, she has also studied Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Hebrew and American Sign Language. A lifelong dance enthusiast, Heller has taken basic courses in Bharatanatyam (South Indian classical dance), ballet (Vaganova technique), modern dance (Graham technique), Brazilian samba, tai chi, salsa dance, Balkan folk dance and tap. She was also in two Israeli folk-dance performing groups. Since 1984, Heller has been a student, teacher, performer, writer and lecturer on the various types of Spanish dance. During her 14 years with the Spanish Dance Theatre, she performed at numerous venues in the northeastern U.S. and in London.