Comini, Alessandra

Full Name: 
Comini, Alessandra
Other Names: 
Alessandra Comini
Year Born: 
1934
Place Born: 
Winona, MN, USA
Home Country: 
USA
Overview: 
Scholar of fin-de-siecle Germanic art and music; Southern Methodist University professor of art history. Comini received her BA from Barnard College in1956, MA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. She returned to New York to pursue her Ph. D., at Columbia University in 1964, teaching as she researched. Her dissertation, written under Theodore Reff, on the topic of Egon Schiele's portraiture, was completed in 1969. She was appointed professor of art history, Southern University in 1974. There, she and fellow art historian Eleanor Tufts became life partners. She and Tufts set up a home in Dallas, spending summers searching for works by neglected women artists for documentation. Comini contributed a chapter on Scandinavian artists in World Impressionism (1990). The following year Tufts died of ovarian cancer. In 1992 she wrote the essays for the National Gallery of Art's 1992 catalog on K├Ąthe Kollwitz. In 1994 she authored another catalog and traveling exhibition on Egon Schiele. Comini received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art in 1995. In 1996 she was named Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at European Humanities Research Centre, Oxford University. The same year she received the Distinguished Teaching Prize of the Meadows School of the Arts and the United Methodist Church Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. She is an an amateur flutist. Comini described herself as a revisionist art historian which she defined as writing about "neglected geographical areas such as Scandinavia; women artists past and present; modern myth-making and the manipulation of imagery."
Selected Bibliography: 
Egon Schiele's Portraits. Columbia University, 1969, published, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974; The Fantastic Art of Vienna. New York: Knopf, 1978; Schiele in Prison. Greenwich, CN: New York Graphic Society, 1973; The Changing Image of Beethoven: a Study in Mythmaking. New York: Rizzoli, 1987.
Sources: 
Who's Who in American Art 22 (1997-98); Comini, Alessandra. In Passionate Pursuit: a Memoir. New York: George Braziller, 2004; Meadows School of the Arts Homepage. http://meadows.smu.edu/default.asp?page=ArtHistory-AComini