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Laura Kalba received her BA in History and Western Society and Culture at Concordia University, her master's in History at McGill University, and Ph.D. in History at University of Southern California.
Her research and teaching interests mainly focus on late nineteenth- and early-twentieth century European art, architecture, and popular commercial visual culture.
Her first book, Color in the Age of Impressionism: Commerce, Technology, and Art (forthcoming with Penn State University Press) examines the impact of new color technologies on French visual and material culture, from the early commercialization of synthetic dyes to the Lumière brothers' perfection of the autochrome color photography process. Some of her research on this topic has appeared in Representations (2012), Modernism/Modernity (2012), History and Technology (2011), as well as the exhibition catalogue Awash in Color: French and Japanese Prints (2012).
In 2012, she worked as a curatorial consultant for the Smith College Museum of Art's exhibition Debussy's Paris: Art, Music, and Sounds of the City. And, in 2014, she helped organize an AALAC-funded two-day symposium on the theme "Visual Studies in the Liberal Arts."
Tentatively titled Currencies: Allegories and Abstraction in the Golden Age of Finance Capital, her second major project seeks to illuminate the intersection between economic and artistic modes of representation, examining, more specifically, the ways visual and material culture mirrored and mediated the controversial new understandings of value and money born of the explosion of the global financial industry in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Credit for photograph: Kevin Gutting, Daily Hampshire Gazette