Art & Travel Writer⇔Independent Scholar
A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Cynthia Elyce Rubin is a writer, lecturer, and visual culture specialist with an A.B. from Vassar College, an Ed.M. from Boston University, and a Ph.D from New York University with her doctoral dissertation on Mississippi Gulf artist, Walter Inglis Anderson.
As curator, journeying by train, car, and bus through remote regions of the American South and Switzerland to uncover private collections and objects that had never been on public display, she organized Southern Folk Art and Swiss Folk Art: Celebrating America’s Heritage for the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. As Curator for the American Harvest Restaurants at the Vista International Hotels in Washington, D.C. and New York City, she installed folk-art and popular culture exhibits, and as Guest Curator at the Pelham Art Center in Pelham, New York, she organized Child’s Play: the History of American Toys and Pennsylvania German Folk Art. With Bread and Chocolate: the Culinary Traditions of Switzerland, she demonstrated to the American public for the first time the diversity and richness of Swiss foodways.
“I love the challenge of a project that has never been done before,” Cynthia explains. Continuing to travel throughout America and Europe as a freelance writer, she continues to uncover fascinating subjects. “The interest in Americana, art movements, and culinary traditions has never been greater,” says Cynthia. “You can never be bored or at a loss for something to learn.”
She has written and edited numerous books and exhibition catalogues, including Southern Folk Art (Oxmoor House), Siegmund Forst: A Lifetime in Arts and Letters (Yeshiva University Museum), Mission Furniture (Chronicle Books), Shaker Miniature Furniture (Van Nostrand Reinhold), Going West: Schweizer Volkskunst in America (American Consultant, Swiss National Museum, Zurich), ABC Americana from the National Gallery of Art (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich), Bread and Chocolate: Swiss Culinary Traditions (Exhibition Catalogue). She contributed to the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Photography (Routledge) and Southern Arts and Crafts 1890-1940 (Mint Museum of Art). She edited Swiss Folk Art (a special issue of the Clarion, American Folk Art Museum), and with E. Morgan Williams she co-authored Larger than Life: the American Tall-Tale Postcard, 1905-1915 (Abbeville Press). Her articles have appeared in a wide range of magazines including National Geographic Traveler, Art&Antiques, American Profile, FiberArts, Raw Vision, Minnesota History, Antiques and the Arts Weekly, South Dakota Magazine, North Dakota Horizons, The Norwegian American, and Orlando Arts Magazine.
Cynthia was on the New York Council for the Humanities, The Speakers in the Humanities Program and has received grants from the Minnesota Historical Society, Arts Council of Switzerland, and South Dakota Humanities Council. She has taught at New York University and has lectured extensively on Folk Art, Decorative Arts, and the cultural history of the Postcard.