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.
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.
Lori is a masters graduate from the Parsons School of Design program in the History of Design & Curatorial Studies. As a jewelry historian and author of BROOCHES (Rizzoli), Lori specializes in connecting the history of ornament with the decorative arts and material culture. She has extensive writing credits that include The New York Times, Variety, InStyle.com and Elle.com. Lori has appeared on television and in radio and continues to lecture on jewelry history and its relationship to the arts and popular culture. Currently she is working as an independent curator, research scholar, and consultant in the entertainment field. Lori holds a Juris Doctor in addition to her Master of Arts degree.
Whitney received her PhD in Art History from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She specializes in colonial American and U.S. art and has a particular research interest in nineteenth-century immigrant artists working in the United States. Although she currently teaches the history of American and European art at a local university, she has broad professional experience, including research and curatorial fellowships at the U.S. Capitol Building and the Metropolitan Museum’s American Wing. Whether she is giving a tour to families or a group of adults, Whitney brings objects to life with her engaging enthusiasm, vivid storytelling, and passion for historical detail.
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 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 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 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 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.
Maite graduated as an Archaeologists and Art Historian from Columbia University and received her Master’s diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU. She specializes in Roman art and architecture and has participated in many excavation in Rome. Maite teaches Art History and History of Architecture at university level and writes for National Geographic Magazine. She also works as an education consultant for different museums in NY and abroad. Maite can provide foreign language art tours in Spanish and Italian (as well as English, of course).
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 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.
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 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 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.
Alexis received her MA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her PhD in Art History from the University of Washington. She teaches college-level art history courses in Chicago, and lectures at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her publication history reveals her diverse interests, from articles based in the Italian Renaissance to a substantial monograph on nineteenth-century European painting. To top that range off, she can provide high-level tours in English, Italian, and French, as well as lead tours geared toward families and kids.
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.
Anna graduated from Boston College, where she majored in English and Art History. She also spent a semester in Rome, Italy exploring the rich art and culture of the ancient city. Anna is our lead communicator; she keeps the team connected and acts as a liaison between our clients and the art world in all of our outreach forms, especially social media. She delights in discovering the hidden gems of a city’s art scene and is passionate about helping our clients to do the same.
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.