Meet Our Guides
Our carefully selected art guides are professional art historians, not scripted actors or docents — and trained in the engaging and conversational ART SMART style.
The ART SMART Team
ART SMART’s art guides are primarily graduate-level art historians from top New York universities who have their fingers on the pulse of the art world. They are up on the latest exhibitions, critical reviews, and historical research. Our art guides are chosen for their passion, personality, and charm as well as for the depth and breadth of their art knowledge.
Unlike most of our competitors, our guides are not docents, artists, or actors working from a script. Each and every one is a professional art historian and trained in the ART SMART style; As such, we keep the tours and experiences engaging and the conversation flowing at the right level based on the client’s knowledge base.
Senta in NYC
Senta earned her MA and PhD from Columbia University in ancient art and is Associate Professor in the departments of Classics & Humanities and Art & Design at Montclair State University. From 2012-2015 she served as Andrew W Mellon Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford. Senta is Contributing Editor for Western Ancient Art and the Ancient Near East for SmartHistory.org. Senta has conducted tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, the Frick, the Guggenheim and the MoMA as well as travel tours of the Mediterranean; she has a wide-range and an intellectual approach.
Marisa in NYC
Marisa received her Art History PhD from CUNY in 2012. She is an independent curator, art history scholar and professor based in New York. She specializes in modern and contemporary art, Latin American art (she’s from Argentina), art in the public sphere, and memorials and material culture of memory. Given those interests, her favorite tours are those at the 9/11 Memorial and the Jewish Museum, but she touring the contemporary art of the Whitney Museum and NYC’s galleries.
Lili – Family Tours in NYC
Lili is an Art Historian with a strong background in museum education. Born in Brazil, she is committed to bringing the world of art to adults and children in a way that is fun and engaging. As a graduate of City College, Lili has worked with students from all over New York teaching Art History in some of the city’s most prestigious institutions. As an educator, Lili is always up to date; never ceasing her academic pursuits. In her free time, you can find her sewing vintage-inspired clothes or visiting a recently discovered NYC museum. As no surprise, her favorite tour is a family tour through The Met.
Tina in NYC
Tina is an independent curator and art critic based in New York. She has organized exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, FLAG Art Foundation, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Venice Biennale, among other institutions, and has written for publications including Art in America, ARTNews, and Modern Painters. She is currently completing a PhD in modern and contemporary art history at CUNY. Like all of our guides, she’s completed coursework in all major areas and has taught art history in a college environment.
Danielle – AMNH Tours in NYC
Danielle leads our American Museum of Natural History tours. She graduated from The University of Michigan. Her experiences with the Teach for America program and teaching in Harlem as a science teacher sparked her love of the field. Currently, she is pursuing a career as a physician assistant due to her love for science and dedication to helping others. Many clients find her passion for science and learning is contagious.
Victoria in NYC
Victoria holds her bachelor’s degree in Art History from the Sorbonne University in Paris and has competed a one year course at Christie’s School of Education of Contemporary Art in New York and NY University. She is trilingual (English, Russian and French) and has conducted tours at most major New York City museums. Her passion lays in history and architecture of New York and she comes with incredible depth of knowledge about this complex and creative city. Victoria has been painting in different mediums for the past 12 years and loves sharing the secrets techniques of old masters and contemporary artists during her tours. She provides a captivating depth for our adult tours yet has a passion for fun family tours as well.
Jessica – Family Tours in NYC
Jessica earned her MA in Art History and Archaeology from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and is currently working towards her PhD. While she specializes in the art and architecture of ancient Western cultures, she has broad knowledge and interest in a spectrum of artistic periods. Her unique background in theatre and theatrical education give her a flair for presentation that makes the history come alive. Her passion for art began with visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a child. She adores sharing her knowledge with the next generation and specializes in family tours of The Met and the Museum of Natural History. Her favorite tour is our Harry Potter-themed tour of The Met combining ancient and medieval mythology and art with the fantastical wizarding world.
Jody in NYC
A native New Yorker who has scoured art museums and other art venues of the city from a young age, Jody was an art dealer before pursuing an academic career. She received a Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University in 2001, and specializes in Modern and Contemporary art. Her research approach has been, at times, thematic and cross-chronological within and between world cultures. She comes with a broad range of university teaching affiliations extending over a decade. Thus her tours are punctuated by diverse perspectives, propelled by her perpetual New York state of mind.
Amber – Family Tours in NYC
Amber received a Master of Arts in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University. While she specializes in European modernism, her knowledge of art history spans periods from antiquity to the contemporary. Prior to pursuing graduate work, she held positions at The Museum of Modern Art, Morgan Library and Museum, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC, as well as at the Hirshhorn Museum in DC. As an undergrad, she also studied painting, which began her lifelong passion for the importance of creativity in everyday life. She adores working with families and guiding the next generation.
Mitra in NYC
Mitra is an independent curator and art history scholar based in New York. She has a broad expertise in art history, with specialization in modern art, photography and the arts of the Middle East, Asia and Northern Africa. Mitra has worked as a curator at The Museum of Modern Art, The California Museum of Photography and with contemporary galleries in Spain, New York, and the Los Angeles area. Additionally, she has taught art history courses at The Cooper Union, Hunter College, Brooklyn College and worked with children in arts education. She expects to receive her Art History PhD from CUNY in 2016. Her enthusiasm for art combines her passion for travel and her roots making ceramics, paintings, and photographs.
Joanna in NYC
Joanna received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art, where she attended as a Thomas Lee scholar. She has published several articles, including a catalogue essay for the Courtauld Gallery’s 2010 exhibition, Michelangelo’s Dream. Although Joanna specializes in the Italian Renaissance, she has a wide range of experience, from participating in paleolithic excavations in France to teaching contemporary art courses at the university level. She is also Contributing Editor for Art History at Khan Academy, one of the world’s largest online educational resources. On top of that, she’s our most popular family guide who consistently gets rave reviews.
Kris in DC
Kris developed her enthusiasm as an art guide when she worked in the Education departments at the Brooklyn Museum. When she finished her PhD in Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, she taught art history at the university level. She is now a writer, editor and consulting curator based in DC. Kris writes regularly for the Smithsonian as well as regional university galleries. She teaches throughout the District of Columbia’s museums and especially loves to share her research about the institutions on the National Mall. Her favorite tour mixes politics (from a balanced perspective) via the art world using the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian collections.
Ana in DC
Ana obtained her PhD in art history from the Graduate Center-City University of New York. Her specialization is modern and contemporary art with a focus on Latin American art and photography. She has taught art history at university level and has worked hands-on with objects at the curatorial departments of El Museo del Barrio, The Americas Society, and at The International Center of Photography in NYC. She was also a lecturer at The Museum of Modern Art-MoMA where she enjoyed the challenges of engaging diverse audiences to modern art. Her family moved to DC where she now tours in English, Italian and Spanish to both adults and families.
Deb in Boston
Deb just completed her PhD at Boston University in American art and architecture with a specialization in the great museums of the nineteenth-century. She has worked in the academic, museum, and business worlds — including as a gallery talk leader at the MFA in Boston and as art history instructor at Boston University. This mix has honed her knack for great story telling. For Deb, who succumbed to the delights of art history many years ago in Florence, very little trumps her enthusiasm for sharing its best stories. Her favorite tour talks about Isabella Stewart Gardner and similar visionary American collectors who stocked their first exhibition spaces in the 19th century.
Judith Walsh, Founder & CEO
Judith Shupe Walsh developed ART SMART’s unique approach during her time lecturing and leading art tours for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She earned her two master’s degrees from the Department of Art History and Archeology at Columbia University —home to one of the foremost graduate art history programs in the nation.
Walsh has lectured for The Cloisters Museum, taught art education at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and was a graduate teacher of art history for Barnard College. She also has worked as a business staff member at Sotheby’s art auction house.