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Curriculum Vitae

Erika Esau

Date and place of birth
            1 April 1949, Santa Barbara, California; U.S. and Australian citizen.

1372 Bidwell Ave., Chico, CA  95976
                                                    Tel. 626-744-0208
                                                    Cell 626-644-2389

Academic qualifications

1967 ‑ 1971 Temple Buell College (Colorado Women”s College), B.A. (German), 1971.

1971 ‑ 1972 University of Denver, M.A. Librarianship, 1972.

1978 ‑ 1985 Bryn Mawr College, Ph.D. History of Art, May 1985.  Dissertation topic: Anton Romako’s portraits and the beginnings of modernism in Central Europe.

Professional experience

2019-present Museum guide, Art Muse Los Angeles.

2008-2010 Librarian (part-time), Reader Services, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

2007-2010 Archivist (part-time), The Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, California.

2004-present Librarian (part-time), Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, Los Angeles
County Museum of Art.

1990‑2009 Lecturer, Art History, School of Humanities, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; tenured November 1993; on leave without pay February 2003-2009.

1985 ‑ 1990 Curator and Assistant Professor of Art History, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin.

1982 ‑ 1985 Editor,
Art Documentation and ARLIS Update (Official publications of Art Libraries Society of North America).

1981 ‑ 1984 Librarian, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.

Summer 1979 Cataloguer, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Catalogued library of Kienbusch Collection of Arms and Armour.

Summer 1978 Librarian, Deutscher Werkbund, Darmstadt, Germany.

1975‑1977 Visual Resources Librarian, University of Texas, San Antonio, Division of Art and Design.

1973 Assistant Humanities Librarian, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.



German Expressionism at Lawrence University: The La Vera Pohl Collection, 150 pp., Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, 1988. ISBN 096 1342919.

The Blue Guide Australia (co-author with George Boeck), 675 pp., London, A & C Black (Publishers); New York, W.W. Norton, 1999. ISBN 0-7136-3846-X (UK); ISBN 0-393-31947-4 (USA).

E.O. Hoppé’s Australia (with Graham Howe), 208 pp., Los Angeles: Curatorial Assistance; New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. ISBN 978-0-393-06611-1.

Images of the Pacific Rim: Australia and California, 1850-1935. Sydney: Power Publications, University of Sydney (distributed in U.S. by University of Washington Press), 2010. ISBN 978-0-90995-239-6.

Three German Women: Personal Stories from the Twentieth Century. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020. ISBN 978-1-5275-5697-3.

Articles in refereed journals and edited books:

The mermaid in Mexican folk art,” (with George Boeck) Southwest Folklore 5 (Winter 1981): 1‑10.

Kurt Schwitters” in: Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architecture, pp. New York 1982.

Contributor to exhibition catalogue, Pre‑Modern Art of Vienna 1848‑1898, pp. 140-152, Bard College and IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York 1987.

Wriston Art Center: La Vera Pohl and her collection,” Wisconsin Academy Review, 36, #4 (September 1990): 28‑31.

Artifacts of Sepik Culture: The Lawrence Ethnographic Collection (with George Boeck and Kathleen Barlow), exhibition catalogue, Lawrence University, January-March 1990, 16 pp.

Tiepolo and Punchinello: Venice, magic and commedia dell’arte,” Australian Journal of Art, IX (1991): 41-58.

The Künstlerehepaar: Ideal and Reality” in Meskimmon and West, eds., Visions of the Neue Frau: Women and the Visual Arts in Weimar Germany, Scolar Press, London, 1995, pp. 28-41.

Imperial Cultural Policy and the Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien,” Journal of the History of Collections, 8 no. 2 (1996): 193-200. ISSN 0954-6650 96

Hasse, Sella” and “Moll, Margaret” in Delia Gaze, ed., Dictionary of Women Artists, Fitzroy Dearborn, London, 1997, 2 vols., vol. 1, pp. 648-49; and vol. 2, pp. 974-76. ISBN 1-884964-21-4

Photography and The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme,” History of Photography, 22 no. 1 (Spring 1998): 72-78. ISSN 0308-7298.

Thomas S. Glaister and early Australian photography,” History of Photography, 23 no. 2 (Summer 1999): 187-191. ISSN 0308-7298.

Behind the Camera: The Family Albums of Harold Cazneaux,” National Library of Australia News, (November 1999): 3-7. ISSN 1035-753X.

“Labels across the Pacific,” in Prue Ahrens, ed., Coast to Coast and the Islands In-Between: Cross- cultural encounters in modern Pacific networks, 1880 to 1945, Pacific Focus Series, London: Cambridge Scholars” Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1443823951.

“ ‘The magazine of enduring value’: Der Querschnitt and the world of illustrated magazines,” in Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker, eds., The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Volume 3: Europe 1880-1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Conference proceedings, book reviews, etc.

Werk + Zeit index, 1965‑1977 (Journal of Deutscher Werkbund), Darmstadt, Germany 1974.

Brochure for exhibition, “Pre‑Modern Art of Vienna 1848‑1898,” IBM Gallery of Science and Art, May 12 ‑ July 11, 1987.

Editor, AAA Newsletter, Art Association of Australia (8 issues), 1991-93.

Review: Joan Kerr, The Dictionary of Australian Artists, in Art Documentation (Winter 1992): 15-16.

Issues of Traditional Aesthetic Expression Bearing on The Blue Guide to Australia,” in Gwenda Davey, ed. Traditions and Tourism: the good, the bad and the ugly, conference proceedings, Sixth Annual Folklife Conference, Monash University, 1996: 50-54. ISBN 0 7326 10087

Review: Katzman, and Webster, eds., Ben Shahn’s New York: the Photography of Modern Times, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000 on: CAA.Reviews, the on-line review journal of the College Art Association, New York (see Filed 2/1/01.

Review: Regina Blaszczyk, The Color Revolution, MIT Press, 2012 in Fashion Theory, vol. 17, Issue 5, pp. 653–656>

Review: Sam Watters, Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935, New York, Acanthus Press, 2012, in History of Photography (journal), vol. 37, nr. 2 (May 2013), pp. 247-249.

Conferences and seminars

"Hans Makart and Franz Joseph: Historismus and the Court,” College Art Association Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 1980.

Van Gogh”s Expressionism,” Alliance française and the Embassy of the Netherlands, Canberra, 5 August 1990.

Max Beckmann and World War I,” Evening Lecture Series on Art and War, Art History Department, October 1990.

Rubens and Women,” lecture series to accompany Rubens and Italy exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, 5 May 1992.

The Künstlerehepaar: Ideal and Reality,” Women Artists and Weimar Germany Colloquium, University of Leicester, Leicester, England, 5-8 June 1992.

Revised version of above lecture, Art Association of Australia Annual Conference, Canberra, 22 September 1992.

Issues of Traditional Aesthetic Expression Bearing on The Blue Guide to Australia,” (with George Boeck), Tradition and Tourism Conference, Victoria Folklife Association, Melbourne 8-10 July 1994.

Interview, ABC Radio National, Arts Show with Shane Pryor, on Blue Guide to Australia and traditional culture in Australia, 8 July 1994, Melbourne.

The Role of Photography in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme,” Art Association of Australia Conference, Melbourne, 26 September 1994.

The Worpswede Artists” Colony,” Goethe Society of ACT, Canberra, 16 November 1994.

Convener, Photography session, Art Association of Australia Conference, Sydney, September 1995.

Photography and the Snowy Mountains Scheme,” Literature and Art Program, A.N.U. Graduate School, 3 June 1996.

*Convener, “The Legacy of Weimar Culture: A View from the Nineties” seminar in conjunction with the Drill Hall Gallery exhibition, Otto Dix: Der Krieg/Critical Graphics 1918-24, Humanities Research Centre, 28 July 1996.

Landscape photography and the Snowy Mountain Scheme,” Beyond the Sublime: Landscape Photography in Australia, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, 26 October 1996.

Blue Guide Australia: Tour guides and indigenous Australia” (w/ George Boeck), Marketing Indigenous Culture Seminar Series, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra, 20 September 1999.

Writing a cultural tour guide: Blue Guide Australia and the history of travel writing,” Art History Research Seminar series, Humanities Research Centre, 11 October 1999.

Early Photography in California and Australia: A Comparative View,” and convener of session, “Photographies: Canonical vs. Regional”, Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ) Conference, 7 October 2001.

Images of the Pacific Rim: The Aesthetic Connections between Australia and the American West, 1850-1930,” Works-in-Progress Seminar, The Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University, 23 November 2001.

Images of the Pacific Rim: Aesthetic Connections between Australia and the American West, 1850-1930,”

Lecture, Visual Culture Colloquium, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 23 January 2002.  (Version of this lecture also given at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 14 January 2002).

Presentation of version of above lecture, Australian-New Zealand American Studies Association (ANZASA) Biennial Conference, Deakin University Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 9 July, 2002

Images of the Pacific Rim: The Aesthetic Connections between Australia and the American West, 1850-1930,” in “Relocating the Pacific” session, CAA Conference, Seattle, 19 February 2004.

Lecture tour, Australia, on topics from Images of the Pacific Rim, 23 February-23 March 2010, see

Lecture, book launch, Power Institute, University of Sydney, 4 November 2010, see

Some California discoveries,” American Arts Council, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 27 January 2011.

“The Transcontinental Bungalow: From Pasadena to Australia,” Friends of The Gamble House lecture, Art Center School of Design, Pasadena, 12 March 2011.

“In Conversation,” Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, Huntington Library, 30 March 2011.

Book lecture, Food For Thought: Thinking and Talking at the California State Library, California State Library, Sacramento, 21 September 2011.

“The Eucalyptus in California: Changing the Landscape, Creating the Garden ,”  At Home Series, Pasadena Museum of History, 4 October 2011.

Book lecture, California Historical Society, San Francisco, 21 March 2012.

Lecture on Aboriginal art, Zoom lecture for Art Muse, October 2020:

Lecture on German women artists: Paula Modersohn-Becker & Anni Albers, Zoom lecture for Art Muse, May 8 2021:

Membership of professional organizations

Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS), 1981-86; executive committee and editorship, 1983-85.

College Art Association (CAA), United States, 1985-present.

Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ), 1990-present; executive committee, 1991-93.

California Historical Society, 2000-present.

Awards, etc.

1972 Elaine Miller Award for International Understanding, Temple Buell College.

1973‑1974 Fulbright Scholarship, Germany (Art History). Topic: The artist”s ambivalent relation to the machine.

1979 Bryn Mawr Fellowship in Art History, Bryn Mawr College.

1980 Kress Fellowship for dissertation study, Bryn Mawr College (research in Vienna, Austria).

1981 Whiting Fellowship, Bryn Mawr College (declined).

1985 National Endowment for the Arts Travel to Collections Grant, to research Feininger Archives, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

1987 John C. McCloy Fellowship in Art for travel to Germany, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1991 Faculty Research Fund Grant, Australian National University, for work on J.W. Lindt.

1992 Australian Research Council Grant for research on 19th‑century Australian-American photographer, Thomas S. Glaister.

2000 Faculty Research Grant, The Australian National University, for travel to U.S. for Australia- California research project.

2000-01 Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California; for research on the aesthetic connections between Australia and the American West, 1850- 1930.

2001 Visiting Fellow, The Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

2003 Short-term research fellowship, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California; for continuing work on book project.

/updated July 2021/