Sally Yard, PhD

Sally Yard
Phone: (619) 260-4512
Office: Founders Hall 104

Professor, Art History

  • PhD, Princeton University, Art and Archaeology
  • MFA, Princeton University, Art and Archaeology
  • AB, Harvard University, Fine Arts

Sally Yard, PhD, joined the faculty in 1989, and served as chair of the department of Art from 1992 through 1997. Yard writes about art since the second world war.  Her research interests stretch from the emergence of abstract expressionism in the United States to the relationship of art and its publics—whether in the contentious terrain of San Diego / Tijuana or the reflective realm of a museum garden.

Scholarly Work

Sally Yard’s work on the relationship of art and its publics includes the book Christo: Oceanfront (Princeton University Press), as well as essays in Robert Irwin (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Rizzoli, 1993); Museum as Muse (Museum of Modern Art, New York and Abrams, 1999); along with Private Time in Public Space (1998), Fugitive Spaces (2002), and A Dynamic Equilibrium:  In Pursuit of Public Terrain (2007) (Installation Gallery, San Diego and Instituto Nacional de Bellas Arts, Mexico).  She has also written on postwar painting: Francis Bacon: A Retrospective (The Trust for Museum Exhibitions and Abrams, 1999) and Willem de Kooning (Poligrafa, Barcelona, 2007).  She is currently at work on a book with Robert Irwin, the first artist to receive a MacArthur Foundation Award.

Yard is founding director and board president of CoTA:  Collaborations of Teachers and Artists, a program that links artists and elementary school teachers in National School District, Chula Vista Elementary School District, and San Diego Unified School District.  She has curated exhibitions for institutions throughout the United States, and has served as faculty curator for the Hoehn Family Print Study Collection and Galleries at USD. 

Yard’s undergraduate thesis focused on Early Matisse and the “Decorative”; her doctoral dissertation considered Willem de Kooning:  The First Twenty-Six Years in New York—1927-1952.

Areas of Interest

Sally Yard’s courses center on modern and contemporary art in the United States and Europe.  She focuses on the emergence of modernity in such courses as Modern Art in Europe: from the French Revolution to World War I and the seminar Matisse and Picasso.  In the courses Art since 1960, Installation Art, and Art in the Land and in the City—Sited and Public Work, Yard probes the ways that art has eluded the boundaries of the museum and gallery to operate in the unfettered and unruly terrain beyond.   In the seminar Race, Ethnicity, Art and Film, students probe the import of representations and their contexts.  Yard also teaches museum studies and oversees a broad expanse of student internships in museums and galleries