On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Department of Art History celebrated the distinguished career of our esteemed colleague and mentor, Professor Paula Gerson, who will be retiring at the end of the spring semester. Upon her retirement, she will be honored with the title of Professor Emerita.
Professor Gerson came to FSU in 1996 to join the faculty in the Department of Art History, where she served as department chair from the time of her arrival until 2006. During her tenure as chair, she presided over a period of expansive growth in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. She helped obtain critical funding for both the master’s and doctoral programs, she established a strong core curriculum for the undergraduate major in art history, and she co-authored the new certificate program in museum studies.
Professor Gerson received her Ph.D. from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Columbia University in 1970, having written her dissertation under the supervision of Robert Branner on the west façade of the cathedral of St. Denis. Before arriving at FSU over two decades later, she taught on the faculty at Fordham University and held visiting positions at Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Rutgers, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In addition to numerous other publications, Professor Gerson has co-authored two books that are widely recognized as critical to the field of medieval studies, The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela: A Gazetteer (which appeared in 1995) and The Twelfth-century Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela (published in 1998). She also edited the anthology Abbot Sugé and Saint-Denis, A Symposium (issued by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1986).
While at FSU, Professor Gerson has chaired or is currently chairing or co-chairing the doctoral committees of 8 students and the master’s committees of 4 others.