Deborah Irmas ’72

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Photo-Historian and Art Advisor

Deborah Irmas’s career as an art professional encompasses several disciplines: independent curator, art writer, and both commercial and non-profit gallery director, college instructor, and documentary film producer.

In the late 1970s, Irmas began building a collection of historic and contemporary photographic self-portraiture for her family. Gifted in the early 1990s to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the photographic collection is exhibited regularly and is documented in the publication, The Camera I: Photographs from the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection.

Other photography exhibitions and publications have explored the work of William Mortensen and Sophie Calle, and surveillance in contemporary art practice. In 1985, she curated a permanent collections exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on the iconography of modern photography, entitled Signs of the Times. She also served as the interim director of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art.

While living in France, Irmas wrote about art for several publications, including Frieze, Art and Auction, Artnet.com, and Vogue Hommes Internationale, as well as catalogue essays for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum. In the mid-1990s, Irmas directed the photography department of Pace Wildenstein, Los Angeles. In 2006, she produced Tell Me Cuba, a documentary film about U.S./Cuban relations.

For Syracuse University, Irmas serves on the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Advisory Council and was a featured participant in the first Ginsburg-Klaus Art in Los Angeles Practicum Week in March 2010. She is also a member of UCLA’s Royce Center Circle Board and the International Advisory Board of the Museum of Latin American Art, and is a trustee of the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation.

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