Elizabeth Alice Honig

Elizabeth Alice Honig was obsessed from an early age by anything to do with her namesake, Elizabeth I. An undergraduate career at Bryn Mawr, where she served as Costumes Mistress to the annual Elizabethan May Day celebrations, confirmed this inclination. She worked at Hampton Court Palace and then went to Yale. There, her secondary fascination with shopping led to a change in direction and she wrote her dissertation on Flemish market scenes and the history of economic thought. She lived in Amsterdam for many years, where she could listen to English radio while studying the art of Belgium. A brief period of museum work there ended in complete disaster, and since then she has been back in America teaching art history. In 1996 she abandoned the Atlantic seaboard and came to Berkeley, where she began working on the art of Jan Brueghel, son of the more famous Pieter. Through Brueghel she has become interested in issues of copying, originality, artistic collaboration, and historical techniques of painting; narrative, scale, style, and the notion of the Baroque. Her graduate students work on a diverse range of topics in the arts of The Netherlands, Spain and Germany; they study painting, prints, architecture and urban planning; violence, propaganda, devotion, and failure. They travel and publish a lot, and she alternately encourages, bullies, and feeds them. Elizabeth Honig’s ultimate goal is to truly understand Rubens. She also has pursued a major project in former Soviet Central Asia.


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