Lily Mitchem Pearsall ’05

Lily Mitchem Pearsall, Director of Communications and Programming, Art Dealers Association of America

Lily Mitchem Pearsall graduated from Scripps in 2005 with a double major in Art History and Politics. During her years at Scripps she held internships at Sotheby’s, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and The Art Newspaper. She wrote her senior thesis on the political implications of aesthetic experiences with public art.

Lily was awarded Scripps’ Gabrielle Jungels Winkler Fellowship for graduate study at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where she studied the relationships between European and American modernism.  Her M.A. dissertation analyzed the composition of the United States Pavilion at the Paris Exposition of 1937 and unearthed archival images and documents that revealed the contents of the U.S. Pavilion.

After graduating from the Courtauld, Lily moved to New York and worked for the arts public relations firm, Resnicow Schroeder Associates, where she assisted museum clients with strategic planning and communications.  Lily then became director of communications and programming for the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA).  At ADAA, Lily advanced art and ideas to large and diverse audiences, working with art galleries, artists, museums, and cultural leaders to produce exhibitions and programming for art industry insiders and general arts audiences alike.  She also continued her academic pursuits with PhD coursework at the City University of New York, where her research continued to focus on public engagements and modern aesthetics.  Lily presented on this subject at the Association of Art Historians conference in 2010.

Presently, Lily is the curatorial project manager in the Painting and Sculpture Department at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her work involves doing research for exhibitions and writing about them for the museum. Her projects include the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, slated for 2017.

“My Scripps experience made an enormous impact on my career in the arts and my life overall.  At Scripps I was given the tools and confidence to create opportunities both within the Claremont community and abroad. The interdisciplinary structure of the curriculum and support of the faculty not only influenced the nature of my academic work, but also propelled me to think clearly and critically about the world around me.  Perhaps the most significant consequence of my Scripps experience is the encouragement of the faculty and alumnae community, particularly in the arts, who provided invaluable support and inspiration throughout my career.”