Who we are

Getting in Touch With Us

For more information or to discuss ideas for integrating art objects into teaching and research at the University of Chicago, please contact the staff of the Feitler Center. 

Issa Lampe
Director of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry

Issa Lampe is an art historian, educator, and program designer for university art museums. She completed a PhD in the History of Art at Harvard University and taught at The American University in Washington, D.C., as Assistant Professor of Modern Art. Later she shifted to teaching and programming with live works of art in museum collections at Indiana University, Stanford University, and Yale University, where she enjoyed crafting innovative teaching, engagement, and exhibition programs for university students and faculty. She has taught collections-based courses in art history, museum studies, and medical humanities at Harvard University, IU-Bloomington, San Jose State University, and Stanford University. Lampe joined the Smart Museum of Art in 2018 as the inaugural Director of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry, the first organization at the University of Chicago dedicated to integrating art collections into the university’s curriculum.

For information about the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the Smart Museum, please contact Issa Lampe at issalampe@uchicago.edu.

Berit Ness
Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives

Berit Ness is a curator and educator who thinks deeply about teaching and learning in museums. Prior to joining the Smart Museum in 2015, Berit held positions at the Washington Art Consortium, Chazen Museum of Art, Tandem Press, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Past exhibition projects include the Smart to the Core series, Down Time: On the Art of Retreat, The History of Perception, and the Museum as Classroom series. Berit has an MA in art history from UW-Madison, a BA in art history from Western Washington University, and participated in Smith College’s Summer Institute for Art Museum Studies.

For information about university course visits to the Smart Museum, including scheduling a visit to the Education Study Room, please contact Berit Ness at bness@uchicago.edu.

Aaron Wilder
Academic Engagement Coordinator

Aaron Wilder is an artist and curator whose work seeks to better understand social constructs. Aaron has been creating art since 2002 and has exhibited his work since 2005 across the US and internationally. His curatorial practice began in 2009 when he created Aaron Wilder Art Space in downtown Phoenix. With the foundational experience of being a self-taught artist, Aaron received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2017. Aaron also has an MA in Global Affairs & Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in International Affairs & Art History from Northern Arizona University.

For information about student internships at the Smart Museum or Feitler Center events and programs, please contact Aaron Wilder at aaronwilder@uchicago.edu.



Advisory Committee to the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry

Niall Atkinson
Associate Professor of Art History, Romance Languages and Literature, and the College; Chair, Department of Art History

Bill Brown
Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture, English and Literature, Visual Arts, and the College; PI, The Object Cultures Project; Co-editor, Critical Inquiry

Gay-Young Cho
Member, Board of Governors 

Rachel Cohen
Professor of Practice in the Arts

Bob Feitler
Chair Emeritus, Board of Governors

Chelsea Foxwell
Associate Professor of Art History and the College

Adom Getachew
Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College

Mary Louise Gorno
Chair, Board of Governors

Pamela Hoehn-Saric
Chair Emeritus, Board of Governors

Matthew Jesse Jackson
Associate Professor of Art History, Visual Arts, and the College; Chair, Department of Visual Arts

Issa Lampe
Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial​ Affairs, Smart Museum of Art
Director of the Feitler Center

David Levin
Senior Adviser to the Provost for Arts, Addie Clark Harding Professor in Germanic Studies, Cinema & Media Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College; Chair, Committee on Theater and Performance Studies

Christine Mehring
Mary L. Block Professor of Art History and the College; Adjunct Curator at the Smart Museum of Art

Berit Ness
Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives, Smart Museum of Art

Geof Oppenheimer
Associate Professor of Practice in the Arts

Mary Smart
Member, Board of Governors 

James T. Sparrow
Associate Professor in United States History and the College; Master, Social Sciences Collegiate Division; Associate Dean, College; Deputy Dean, Social Sciences Division; Affiliated Faculty, Masters in Computational Social Science Program

Christopher J. Wild
Associate Professor of Germanic Studies and the College; Director of Graduate Studies