Dr. Philip I. Eliasoph
Professor of Visual & Performing Arts
o: Canisius Hall Rm 210
Philip Eliasoph was appointed in 1975 as the first full-time Art Historian to join Fairfield's faculty in the early years of the Fine Arts Department, now Visual & Performing Arts. In 2016 he was invited to design and author his own blog featuring Art History & Visual Culture for the InEducation digital platform of The New York Times. Dr. Eliasoph is an elected member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d' Art, UNESCO's art critic organization based in Paris.
He has made significant contributions to the field of American Art with a special focus on "resurrecting" the careers of many under appreciated WPA era Urban and Social Realists and the school of Magic Realism at midcentury.
His numerous books, exhibition catalogs, magazine articles, and countless reviews as an active art critic have sparked the rediscovery of American masters including Paul Cadmus, Robert Vickrey, Stevan Dohanos, Colleen Browning, Robert Bizinsky, Henry Koerner and Adolf Dehn.
He is a public arts advocate, serving by appointment of the Governor on the Commissioner for the State of Connecticut's Arts Division, and was the founding co-president of the Town of Fairfield Arts Council. His expertise is often called upon as a fine arts advisor, appraiser, and counselor for distribution of philanthropic assets to museums and non-profits.
In 1996 he was the founder, director and on-stage host/moderator for the university's popular 'Town Hall' public affairs series: OPEN VISIONS FORUM. These lively and spontaneous, unscripted interviews with global and national notables, authors, artists, and prominent opinion-makers have been memorable dialogues. A few of those interviews include: Ambassador Susan E. Rice, Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., Chuck Todd, Gore Vidal, Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell, Stephen Sondheim, Salman Rushdie, Lesley Stahl, and David McCullough. He was honored with the Alumni Association's Distinguished Faculty Award by Fairfield University in 2008.
Students of all ages - from 18 to 88 - have enjoyed his animated and passionately engaged lecture style. He is often invited to lecture on art connoisseurship and aesthetic discernment from the point of view of a widely published, journeyman working art critic. Whether teaching Florentine painting, WPA urban romanticism, modern abstractionism, or the peculiar dynamics of the contemporary art market and auction scene, he passionately encourages audiences to appreciate why 'ART REALLY MATTERS!"