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Jeffrey Trask

Assistant Professor
Ph.D.,Columbia University, 2006

Jeffrey Trask specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the modern U.S., with a focus on art and politics. Trask teaches courses in U.S. social history, urban history, the built environment, historic preservation, public history and museum studies. Trask’s book, Things American: Art Museums and Civic Culture in the Progressive Era, was published in 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. The book examines art museums in the early twentieth century that sought to transform the relationship between art, labor and democracy by placing themselves at the center of Progressive Era social reform. Museums developed educational programs that linked the preservation of objects from the past with industrial and social progress, as they tried to define a new American aesthetic and civic identity. Trask’s new research examines the transformation of urban waterfronts through the preservation of industrial spaces. He earned his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 2006, and has an M.A. in Museum Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Trask has been the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon fellowship, and post-doctoral fellowships at New York University and the New-York Historical Society.