Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Huffington v. Gasman

When I learned that The New Yorker had published a profile of Arianna Huffington, I immediately searched it for references to artist and Picasso expert Lydia Gasman, who was one of my favorite professors during my madcap college days.

Sure enough, there it was:
Lydia Gasman, now an emeritus art history professor at the University of Virginia, says that Huffington’s Picasso biography included themes similar to those in her unpublished four-volume Ph.D. thesis. “What she did was steal twenty years of my work,” Gasman told Maureen Orth in 1994. Gasman did not file suit. (Huffington denied both allegations.)
I first encountered Gasman when I accidentally walked into one of her modern art history lectures. Won over by her enthusiasm, I signed on to her class and went on to complete a total of three of her courses by the time of my graduation. I guess I was also a kind of "recruiter" for her classes, as I urged many of my friends to take them too.

Gasman, who has a kind of legendary status among Picasso cognoscenti, was such an engaging lecturer that I've long wondered when I'd be able to see her giving a presentation in New York City. But I've never seen her slotted for such a talk. It's our loss.

1 comment:

Kimberlee said...

ICYMI Plz sign/FWD/RT my petition to Cancel Arianna Huffington on the UVa Lawn 10/15. Plagiarism is nothing to honor.