American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center Presents Gail Rebhan: About Time

By Editorial Team on January 30, 2023

Sun, February 5 2023 — Sat, April 29 2023

Courtesy of Gail Rebhan.


Artist Talk: Sunday, February 5 at 2pm

Gail Rebhan: About Time curated by Sally Stein

For better and worse, nothing stays still. DC artist Gail Rebhan (b. 1953) knows that well and this, her first museum retrospective, explores her many different ways over four decades of using and reconfiguring the time-slicing medium of photography.

Some of her earliest photographic series make very deliberate sequences of stills to reflect on gender and generational dynamics inside her own family.  The judicious captions to these sequences contain the artist’s perspective while leaving the viewer free to consider other interpretive possibilities for the movement of people and objects over time. Text grows even more important as Rebhan chronicles the learning processes of her young sons as they absorb information from their parents and as influentially from school, television, books and the boys’ expanding observations of the diverse urban world of DC.

Rebhan chronicles her own learning process in one series about her own challenging process of becoming a care-giver to her aged father in his last years while still juggling being mother to teens and wife along with full-time photography professor.

Following her father’s death around the same time as her sons become more independent as young adults, Rebhan makes new series literally juxtaposing past and present in the neighborhood sites she depicts with new research, and in sites throughout the metropolitan region of Washington and its neighboring cities.

One public commission of recent and first-generation Americans in the DC regions leads also to Rebhan making new works about her own Jewish relatives who survived by fleeing Europe during its intense wave of antisemitism to make new lives and generations in the US, and how this hybrid past figures in many of her memories of assimilation and activism.

The two final, most recent series might seem diametrically opposed or else well-matched in their diversity: a selection from her documents and resulting art works made in collaboration with the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition group protesting the desecration of the historic Moses cemetery in nearby Maryland, and a series of studies she titles Living of her very active and activist, if also aging. female body as she is poised to enter her seventh decade.

In conjunction with the exhibition MACK Books is publishing Gail Rebhan About Time with running commentaries by Sally Stein

Four panel discussions are planned. 

  • The Deeply Social Art of Gail Rebhan – Sunday February 5, 2-3PM with Jack Rasmussen, Director of the American University Museum / Steve Nelson, Dean of the National Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts / Sally Stein, Curator and Professor Emerita, Art History, University of California-Irvine / Gail Rebhan, artist.
  • First-Generation American Visions Bridging Old and New Worlds / Saturday March 4, 2-3 PM with Atina Grossmann, Professor of History Cooper Union and Senior Resident Scholar at Holocaust Museum / Ori Z. Soltes, Professor of the Teaching of Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University / Erin Devine, author of Translation and Transgression in the Art of Shirin Neshat. Routledge Press, 2023 / Gail Rebhan, artist.
  • The Draw (& Drawbacks) of Family Connections for Women Artists & Their Art / Saturday March 25, 2-3PM with Jennie Klein Professor of Art History, Ohio University, Leena Jayaswal, Professor and Director of Photography, American University /Andrea Liss Professor Emerita Contemporary Art Historian and Cultural Theorist, California State University-San Marcos / Gail Rebhan artist.
  • Greater DC and the depiction of urban flux / Saturday April 29, 2-3 PM with Marsha Coleman Adebayo, President of the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition / Sarah Jane Shoenfeld, Co-Founder of Mapping Segregation in Washington and Principal Prologue DC / Gail Rebhan, artist.
For more about the artist, see ( & for curator, see
Katzen Arts Center is located at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW.