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Amram Scholar Series Presents: LaNitra M. Berger

Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color

Sunday January 16, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


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Sunday, January 16 at 10:30 am on Zoom

For those who appreciate art or want to learn more about social activism around the world, art historian LaNitra N. Berger joins us for a look at the life and legacy of controversial South African artist Irma Stern.

Irma Stern (1894–1966) gained international fame for her expressionist paintings of Black, Jewish, and mixed-race people, yet she was one of her nation’s most controversial modern figures. Having accepted grants from and publicly supported South Africa’s apartheid government, she also kept ties with more progressive members of the nation’s Jewish community.

Through her art, Stern played a crucial role in both developing modernism in South Africa and defining modernism as a global movement. Spanning the Boer War, Nazi Germany, and apartheid South Africa and into the contemporary movement fighting institutional racism at the University of Cape Town, Irma Stern’s work documents important 20th-century cultural and political moments. More than 50 years after her death, her legacy challenges assumptions about race, gender roles, and religious identity and how they are represented in art history.


About the Author:

LaNitra M. Berger, Ph.D., is an award-winning scholar, educator, speaker, and social justice advocate working toward making higher education accessible to low-income, first-generation, and minority students. The Senior Director of Fellowships at George Mason University, her scholarly interests are in art and social activism in the African and Jewish diasporas.

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Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.



Sunday, January 16


10:30 am - 12:00 pm




Adult Ed, Amram, Lecture


Marsha Humphries