Jordana Mendelson is the new Director of NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center as of September 2020. She is also Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and affiliate faculty in the Department of Art History and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. Prior to coming to NYU, Professor Mendelson taught at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and served as a visiting professor at the Universidad de Navarra, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and in the independent study program of the Museu d’Arr Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). She received her PhD in art history from Yale University and her BA in art history with a minor in Spanish from Boston University. Professor Mendelson’s research focuses on early twentieth-century visual culture in Spain. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Art Journal, Modernism/modernity, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Catalan Review, and the Hispanic Research Journal. Professor Mendelson is the author of Documenting Spain: Artists, Exhibition Culture, and the Modern Nation 1929-1939 (Penn State University Press, 2005) [Documentar España. Los artistas, la cultura expositiva y la nación moderna, 1929-1939, Trans. Elisenda Julibert and Miguel Martínez-Lage. Barcelona and Madrid: Ediciones de La Central, 2012] and co-editor of Postcards: Ephemeral Histories of Modernity (Penn State University Press, 2010) with David Prochaska. Central to Professor Mendelson’s research into the art, culture, and history of modern Spain has been her dedication to sharing archival and collections research through the curation of exhibitions, which have included Encounters with the 1930s (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2012-2013), Revistas y Guerra 1936-1939/Magazines and War 1936-1939 (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2007 and Museu Valencià de la Il.lustració i de la Modernitat, 2007), Other Weapons: Photography and Print Culture during the Spanish Civil War (International Center of Photography, 2007), and co-curated Margaret Michaelis: Fotografía, Vanguardia y República en la Barcelona de la República (Institut Valencià d’Art Modern Centro Julio Gonzàlez and Centre de Cultural Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain, 1998-99). She is co-curator of Miró and ADLAN, scheduled for Spring 2021 at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, Spain. She serves on the advisory committee of the Archivo Español de Arte and Culture & History, is a member of the Editorial Board of Modernism/Modernity, and is currently the Editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies.
In 2007, Professor Mendelson’s son was born with Down syndrome. Since then, she has combined her academic work in the arts with active participation in community and school-based discussions on the importance of the arts for students with disabilities. In her role as a parent advocate, she has given presentations to the NYC Department of Education, Teachers College at Columbia University, and NYU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. She served on the steering committee of the Arts for All Abilities Consortium and on the Board of GiGi’s Playhouse: Down Syndrome Achievement Center NYC, as well as serving as a member of the School Leadership Team for PS 3 and P94 and the PTA for P751 Manhattan School for Career Development Prep.