Natalie Boymel Kampen

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  • "Tally Kampen means the world to me. She alone is..."
    - Shelly Landerman
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1944 - 2012
Dr. Natalie (Tally) Boymel Kampen, a pioneering feminist scholar and one of the world's experts on the art history of the Roman provinces, with a focus on gender studies, died age 68 on August 12, 2012 in Wakefield, Rhode Island. Kampen taught courses on the ancient world at Columbia University and in feminist theory and gender studies at Barnard College, where she held the endowed Barbara Novak chair in Art History and Women's Studies, and became professor emerita in 2010. Subsequently, she was visiting professor at Brown University and coadministrator of a Getty Foundation Grant for international study of Roman provincial art and architecture.
Dr. Kampen was a research fellow at Oxford University in 2000, received the Felix Neubergh Medal at the University of Gothenburg in 2004, and was a visiting professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi in 2010. She was the author of Image and Status: Roman Working Women in Ostia (1981) and Family Fictions in Roman Art (2009), editor of Sexuality in Ancient Art (1996), and numerous other scholarly articles and chapters.
Dr. Kampen was born on February 1, 1944 in Philadelphia, to Jules and Pauline (Friedman) Boymel. She was an avid horseback rider and owner of Labrador dogs. She received her BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965 and 1967 and her PhD from Brown University in 1976. She taught Art History at the University of Rhode Island between 1969 and 1988, where she helped to found one of the first Women's Studies programs in New England and became a lifelong patron of the Hera Gallery, a feminist artists' collective in Wakefield, Rhode Island. She was an enthusiastic supporter of left causes from the 1950s to the present, was an effective force in the development of feminist philosophy, and played a key role in the struggle for women's rights. Tally Kampen was a brilliant scholar who led multiple generations of women in the discovery and belief in their extraordinary accomplishments. She radiated intelligence and great good will. She was as generous in sharing her knowledge as in sharing her conviction that the world could be made a better place. Tally was a dazzling, exuberant conversationalist who conveyed true engagement with the subject at hand and respect for all around her. Her acerbic wit, enormous storehouse of information, and ever-present empathy made her the most delightful of companions.
Tally's generosity was extraordinary. She was a beloved friend and colleague who nurtured lifelong friendships, forged groups of strangers into friends, and could change a person's perspective on life after only an hour's acquaintance in an airport. Even during final illness, she led a group of younger scholars to Greece, determined to work with them while she was still able.
Dr. Kampen is survived by her sister Susan Boymel Udin, her brother-in-law David Udin, and her niece and nephew Rachel and Michael Udin. Contributions can be made in Dr. Kampen's name to Hera Gallery, 10 High Street, Wakefield, RI 02879.
Published on from Sept. 13 to Sept. 14, 2012
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