Ellen Handler Spitz

Honors College Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Maryland (UMBC)

Ellen Handler Spitz writes, teaches, and lectures on the visual, literary, and performing arts and psychology and on the aesthetic lives of children.  Her background includes four years as a research candidate at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.  In 2008, she was the Erikson Scholar at Austen Riggs, .  She has, in addition, held residential fellowships at the Getty Center in Santa Monica, California, the Bunting (Radcliffe) Institute at Harvard University, the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the Camargo Foundation in France, and the Rutgers Center for Children and Childhood Studies.  She is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

She is the author of many articles, chapters and books, including Art and Psyche; Image and Insight; Museums of the Mind; Inside Picture Books; The Brightening Glance; Illuminating Childhood, and Freud and Forbidden Knowledge, which she co-edited.  She has reviewed children’s books for The New York Times and The New Republic and contributes regularly to Artcritical: the online magazine of art and ideas.  Her work has been translated into Italian, Japanese, and Serbian. Her most recent research focuses on art as illustration and on children’s aesthetic lives.

Her website is:  www.ellenhandlerspitz.net

Participant In:

For a study by Nathan Szajnberg, Ethiopian/Israeli six-year old children drew pictures of their lives, of their fantasies and fears, hopes and wishes. Their compelling drawings and stories will be the foundation upon which our roundtable participants will bring to bear art historical, linguistic, and psychoanalytic perspectives to explore questions of representation, the developmental issues related… read more »