Born in London, Yael Hirsch studied art history at University College London (UCL) and then at the Courtauld Institute of Art, specializing in 18th and 19th British and French art. Her M.Phil focused on the art criticism of William Makepeace Thackeray, author of Vanity Fair. Yael’s interest in the visual arts has always been tied to a deep interest in literature and history, reflected by her work in academia, journalism, fiction writing and film. She arrived in Philadelphia from Melbourne, Australia, sixteen years ago with three young children. Her husband was the Director of the Barnes Foundation during the move into its new home on the Parkway. The experience of guiding visitors around its extraordinary collection revived Yael’s first ambition to go to art school. As a committed modernist still fascinated by the centuries-old discipline of an academic training, for the last two years she has been taking classes in figurative painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
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