Bruce Parsons

Professor Emeritus

A.O.C.A. (Ontario College of Art)

Bruce Parsons is a painter and installation artist whose work has been exhibited in major Canadian centres. Strongly influenced by ancient art forms, his research has led to extensive travels in Egypt, Mexico, Guatemala and most recently, China. He has had several shows in China, initiated a faculty and student exhibition exchange, and brought several leading Chinese artists to York as artists-in-residence.

For many years, Professor Parsons was the moving force behind York’s annual Mural Competition, commissioning site-specific public art works from York students for placement on campus.

Gerald Needham

Professor Emeritus

BA (Nottingham), MA, PhD (NYU)

Professor Needham’s research interests span two centuries in art history, from the late 18th century to Postmodernism. A specialist in 19th-century painting and graphic art, particularly in France and Britain, he is the author of a book on European Realism, Nineteenth Century Realist Art, and has published extensively on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Other research areas include Russian Constructivism and East European painting, in particular that of Ukraine. A member of the board of directors of the Canadian section of the International Association of Art Critics, Professor Needham also writes and lectures on contemporary Canadian art.

Guy P.R. Métraux

Professor Emeritus

BA (Yale College), MA, PhD (Harvard)

Dr. Metraux is an art historian and archaeologist whose research interests include Greek and Roman art, architecture and urban planning; relationships between the visual arts and literary and social developments in antiquity; and the intersection of art and science in Greek and Roman art history.

Dr. Metraux’s numerous scholarly publications include writings on Greek city-planning and political space in Greece and Rome as well as articles and monographs on the archaeological excavations of which he has been a member, in Turkey (Sardis), Italy (Francolise) and Tunisia (Utica and Carthage). His book on Greek medical science and art, Sculptors and Physicians in Fifth Century Greece, was awarded the Raymond Klibansky Prize by the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation. His most recent publication is The Art of Citizens, Soldiers, and Freedmen in the Roman World, a collection of essays on “ordinary” Roman art, to which he contributed an article on Walter Benjamin and the commercial arts in late Roman times.

From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Metraux served as associate director of the Carthage project, Corpus des mosaiques de Tunisie, a program of archaeological field work and research on the Roman mosaic pavements at the ancient site of Carthage in Tunisia. A discovery he made during that excavation is the focal point of his study on the Christian destruction of ancient art in the Roman world 300 – 600 A.D., for which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002.


Selected Publications


The Art of Citizens, Soldiers, and Freedmen in the Roman World, co-editor Eve D’Ambra (Oxford, Archaeopress, 2006).

Corpus des mosaiques de Tunisie, IV, Carthage, Fascicule I, Les mosaiques du Parc archeologique des Thermes d’Antonin, with M.A. Alexander, A. Ben Abed, C. Kondoleon, A. Gonosova, F. Miller et al (Tunis, Ceres, 1999)

Sculptors and Physicians in Fifth Century Greece  – A Preliminary Study, (Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995)

The Villa San Rocco at Francolise, with M.A. Cotton (London and New York: British School at Rome and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, 1985)

Western Greek Land-Use and City Planning in the Archaic Period, (New York: Garland Press, 1978)

Corpus des mosaiques antiques de Tunisie, I, UtiqueFascicules 1 and 2, with M.A. Alexander and M. Ennaifer, eds. (Tunis, Ceres, 1973-1976)


“Ancient Housing. Oikos and Domus in Greece and Rome,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 58:3-4 (1999) 392-405.

“Villa Rustica Alimentaria et Annonaria,” in A. Frazer, ed., The Roman Villa: Villa Urbana [First Williams Symposium on Classical Architecture] (Philadelphia, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 1998) 1-19.

“Mosaics, Liturgy and Architecture in the Basilica of Dermech I, Carthage,” Actes du VIIIeme Congres international de l’Association international pour l’etude de la mosaique antique (Bulletin de l’AIEMA18, Paris 1998).

with M.A. Alexander and A. Ben Abed, “The Corpus of the Mosaics of Tunisia: Carthage Project, 1992-1994” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 50 (1996) 361-368.

“Patronage and Style in the Mosaics of the Villa San Rocco, Francolise,” Bulletin de l’Association internationale de l’etude de la mosaique antique X:I (1985) 139-149, figs. 1-8.

Agora and Forum: Civic Spaces in Antiquity,” Cultures: An International Journal 5:3 (1978) 11-26.

Hugh LeRoy

Professor Emeritus

Assoc. Diploma (Sir George Williams); Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, School of Art and Design

A former student of Arthur Lismer and Louis Dudek, Professor LeRoy is a sculptor whose work has been exhibited widely across Canada and is found in many private collections. Among his major commissions are sculptures for the Justice Building in Ottawa and at the Banff Centre. In recent years he has had a series of annual solo shows at Toronto’s Olga Korper Gallery.

Hugh LeRoy’s 1972 work Rainbow Piece, installed on the York University campus grounds, is part of the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of York University.

Vera Frenkel

Professor Emeritus

BA (McGill)

Vera Frenkel, an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist, left York in 1995 to focus fully on her studio practice. Her installations, videos, drawings, photographs, performances and new media works have been presented at major museums and festivals throughout Canada and elsewhere, including MoMA, New York; documenta IX, Kassel, Germany; Centre culturel canadien, Paris; OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria; Setagaya Museum, Tokyo; the National Gallery of Canada; the Freud Museum, London; the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna; the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; and the Venice Biennale.

Key projects include include Messiah Speaking; ‘…from the Transit Bar’; Body MissingThe Institute: Or What We Do for Love and and ONCE NEAR WATER; Notes from the Scaffolding Archive. Her writings have appeared in Alphabet City, artscanada, C.Magazine, Canadian Art, Descant, Dialog, Fuse, Intermédialités, n.paradoxa, Public and Vanguard, and in anthologies such as Penser l’indiscipline (Optica, 2001), Joseph Beuys: The Reader (M.I.T. Press, 2007) and Museums after Modernism (Blackwell, 2007).

Artist-in-residence venues range from the School of the Chicago Art Institute and the Slade School of Art, University College, London, to the Leverhulme Professorship, Leeds University.

Professor Frenkel’s work has earned many national and international honours, including the Bell Canada Award for Video Art, the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, the Canada Council Molson Prize in the Arts, the Toronto Arts Foundation Visual Arts Award, the 2006 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the 2007 IDMAA (International Digital Media Arts Association) Award. She was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences in 2006.

Vera Frenkel is currently preparing a solo exhibition for the Saidye Bronfman Gallery in Montreal, 2010, and a commission for the inaugural exhibition of the Ryerson University Gallery, 2011.

Barbara Dodge

Professor Emeritus

BA (Stanford), PhD (Johns Hopkins)

Dr. Dodge is a specialist in late medieval and Renaissance art and architecture, and the historical study of artists’ techniques. A former curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, she developed and taught York’s art history courses in Florence, Italy. Her research centres on technical and iconographic issues in 14th and 15th century Italian art and on the roles and representations of women in Western historical art. Her publications include articles on 14th century Italian fresco painting, the artistic impact of Petrarch’s Triumphs, six articles in the International Dictionary of Art and Artists, and numerous book reviews.

Joy Cohnstaedt

Professor Emerita

BFA (Manitoba), Post-Grad Dipl. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

An experienced arts administrator and educator, Professor Cohnstaedt is a former Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, and a former Chair of the Ontario Council of University Affairs. Prior to her appointment at York, she served as Deputy Minister of Culture, Heritage and Recreation in Manitoba and as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

Professor Cohnstaedt’s research interests and publications include studies in comparative cultural policy, arts and the law, arts and cultural administration, and minorities and the arts. She was awarded the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research in support of her work in this area in relation to cultural and communications policy

Ken Carpenter

Professor Emeritus

Senior Scholar

BA (Toronto), MA (California-Berkeley), PhD (London)

Professor Carpenter’s research interests include the history, theory, and practice of art criticism, Canadian and American art since 1940, and the psychology of creativity. His extensive publication credits include sixty articles in journals such as Art International, Arts, Vie des arts, The Journal of Canadian Art History, Studio International, The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Dictionary of Art. Exhibitions he has curated include The Caro Connection: Sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro from Toronto CollectionsThe Heritage of Jack Bush, A Tribute (Robert McLaughlin Gallery), which toured extensively; and Caricature and Conscience: The Sculpture of Dora Wechsler (with Carolyn Robinson) for Toronto’s Koffler Gallery.

Professor Carpenter has been guest critic at the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop and guest lecturer at numerous Canadian and American universities. He was a recipient of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association’s award for excellence in teaching.


Selected Publications

Entries on Graham Coughtry, Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg, Dictionary of Art (London: Macmillan, 1996)

The Caro Connection, Sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro from Toronto Collections (Toronto: Koffler Gallery, 1995)

“Joseph Drapell Paints a Picture”, Art Post 7:2 (Winter-Spring 1990)

“Triumph over Adversity” in Karen Wilkin, ed., Jack Bush (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1984), 84-97.

Shirley Ann Brown

Professor Emeritus

B.I.D. (Manitoba), MA (Ohio), PhD (Cornell)

Professor Brown is a medievalist whose research areas include the art of medieval Ireland, Britain and the Norman world, with special emphasis on the results of the meeting of different artistic heritages, and 19th and 20th century architectural glass produced in Canada or imported to Canada from abroad. She is the founding director of the Registry of Stained Glass Windows in Canada.



The Bayeux Tapestry: History and Bibliography (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1988).


“The Influence of German Religious Stained Glass in Canada 1880-1941”, RACAR (Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review), vol.21, no.1 – 2 (1994), 21-31 (appeared Nov.1996)

“Wilhelmina Geddes’ Ottawa Window”, Irish Arts Review vol. 10 (1994), 181-188.

“The ‘Adelae Comitissae’ of Baudri of Bourgeuil and the Bayeux Tapestry”, co-authored with Michael W. Herren, in Anglo-Norman Studies XVI. Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1993, (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1994), 55-73.

“Massey Hall’s Hidden Glass Treasures”, Rotunda vo. 26 no. 2 (Fall 1993), 28-33. “The Ringed Crosses of the Celts”, Rotunda vol.25, no.1 (Summer 1992), 29-35.

“A Regal Landmark in Stained Glass”, Rotunda, vol.25, no.3 (Winter 1992), 30-35.

“The Bayeux Tapestry: Why Eustace, Odo and William?”, Anglo-Norman Studies XII. Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1989, (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1990), 7-28.

“Christ Healing the Sick Child: A Treasure in Stained Glass”, Rotunda, vol. 23, no.3 (Winter 1990) 11-17.

“The Bayeux Tapestry: History or Propaganda?”, The Anglo-Saxons, Synthesis and Achievement, J.D.Woods and David A.E.Pelteret, eds. (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1985), 11-25.

“The Bayeux Tapestry and the `Song of Roland’”, Olifant, vol.6, nos.3 & 4 (Spring & Summer 1979) 339-350. (Proceedings of Roncevaux 778-1978, Pennsylvania State University, 1978.)


“The Role of Art in the Late Anglo-Saxon Church by Richard Gameson (Oxford, 1995)”, American Historical Review, (April 1997)

“The Archaeology of Early Medieval Ireland by Nancy Edwards (London, 1991)”, Speculum, vol.68, no.3 (July 1993), 753-755.

“The Bayeux Tapestry by David M.Wilson (London, 1985)”, RACAR, (Spring 1988), 72-74.

Claude Breeze

Professor Emeritus

Regina College School of Art, University of Saskatchewan; Vancouver School of Art

Professor Breeze has exhibited his paintings in numerous solo and group shows on four continents. His work is found in public, corporate and private collections, including Canada’s National Gallery. Among his works are several pieces of public art, including the 300 ft. ceramic tile mural in the Spadina subway station, Toronto.

Professor Breeze is a member of the prestigious Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work and his contributions to the visual arts in Canada.