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  • Faculty

  • Melissa Rachleff

    Part-time Assistant Professor


    Office Location
    A - Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall - 66 West 12th Street

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    Melissa Rachleff


    Melissa Rachleff Burtt spent 8 years as a program officer at the New York State Council on the Arts from 1999-2007. Previously, Rachleff Burtt was associate curator at Exit Art and head of adult and community programs at the Brooklyn Museum. She has written on the subject of photography, art, and art management for a variety of publications. Ms. Rachleff Burtt received her B.S. degree in Art and Design from Drexel University, and is an alumna of the NYU/ICP MA Program at Art and Art Professions program. Rachleff Burtt will be a fellow at the New York University Humanities Initiative during academic year 2013/2014, where she will complete research on her exhibition and book project titled, "Inventing Downtown: Artist Run Galleries in New York City, 1950-1965." The exhibition will open at the Grey Art Gallery (NYU) during the 2015/2016 academic year. Her essay, "Do It Yourself:A History of Alternatives" was published in Alternative Histories: New York Art Spaces, 1960-2010, by MIT Press in 2012. In 2009, Rachleff Burtt joined the faculty in NYU's Visual Art Administration MA Program.

    Recent Publications

    “Do it Yourself: A History of Alternatives,” in Rosatti, Lauren and Mary Anne Staniszewski, eds. Alternative Histories. (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 2012): 23-40.

    “Jeanette Ingberman, The Fantastic Dream: A Memorial to Jeanette,” Artnet, August, 2011 (, accessed March 16, 2012).

    “Peering Behind the Curtain: Artists and Questioning Historical Authority” in Adair, William, et al., Letting Go: Historical Authority in a User Generated World (Philadelphia, PA: Pew Charitable Trust, 2011), 208-229.

     “‘The Fever Dream of the Amateur Historian’: Ben Katchor’s The Rosenbach Company: A Tragicomedy” in Adair, ed. Letting Go, 242-265.

    “Funding Artists: An Inside Perspective,” in Nieves, Marysol, et al., Taking AIM: The Business of Being an Artist Today (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011), 175-193.

    Book Review: “The Self in Black and White: Race and Subjectivity in Postwar American Photography by Erina Duganne.” American Studies Journal 51, no. 2 (fall 2011), 174-176.


    Research Interests

    visual art, art organizations, museums

    Awards And Honors

    2013/2014 New York University Humanities Initiative Fellowship, faculty fellow

    2010 Faculty Challenge Grant, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development for a cultural survey measuring arts interests in the Bronx

    Current Courses

    Downtown to Bushwick

    Downtown to Bushwick (Spring 2021)

    Integrative Seminar 1

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