Senior instructor of art Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D., brings rich expertise and a passion for art history to her work at Mercy College. With a particular interest in modern art, she focuses much of her research on André Salmon, a French poet who chronicled the lives of Pablo Picasso and other artists living in Paris in the early 20th century. In 2022, Gersh-Nesic traveled to Paris to research Salmon on a trip partially funded by a Mercy College Faculty Development Grant.
While in Paris, Gersh-Nesic spent her days researching Salmon at the library in the Musée National d’Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art). She also attended and wrote reviews of several Paris art exhibitions, including one on the writer Marcel Proust at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (Museum of Jewish Art and History) and another on women artists of the 1920s at the Musée du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Museum).
Since returning from Paris, Gersh-Nesic has shared her research with audiences both within and outside of Mercy College. For example, she presented a poster on Proust at the 2023 Mercy College Faculty Recognition Ceremony and gave a lecture on him hosted by the Alliance Française de Greenwich and Greenwich’s Byram Shubert Library. In addition, she wrote articles for the official Salmon website (andresalmon.org) — which she regularly contributes to along with an international group of colleagues — and articles on Parisian art exhibitions for online magazine “Bonjour Paris.”
Through her teaching, Gersh-Nesic helps Mercy students develop many transferrable skills and exposes them to various career paths in the art world. She teaches several undergraduate art history courses, including “Art and Culture” and “Modernism and Contemporary Art.” In each one, she takes her students through a process she knows well: digging into artists’ backgrounds to better understand their art. She also works to support students’ ability to write about their observations. “I try to make my students into better writers,” she said. “In a way, my courses are really about learning how to write with art as the subject.”
To learn more about Mercy College’s Department of Communication and the Arts, please click here.