Claudia Kheel is an authority on Louisiana and Southern Regional Art. Kheel is current a Fine Art Consultant at New Orleans Auction Galleries. For ten years, she was the Director of American and Southern Paintings, Prints and Photography at Neal Auction Company. She previously served as Curator of Fine Arts at the Indiana State Museum and Visual Arts Curator at the Louisiana State Museum.
Ms. Kheel earned a Master of Arts in American Art History from Newcomb College at Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University. In addition to teaching at SoPA, she is a visiting faculty member at the Louisiana State University School of Art + Design, where she lectures on Louisiana and Southern art.
As a contributing author, Ms. Kheel has written for the revised New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, published by the Center of Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ KNOWLA Online Encyclopedia; “Morris Henry Hobbs: In Old New Orleans,” a chapter in the critically acclaimed book Printmaking in New Orleans published by The Historic New Orleans Collection; “Louisiana Art in the Early to Mid-Twentieth Century,” a chapter in the exhibition catalogue Collecting Passions: Highlights from the LSU Museum of Art Collection; “Morris Henry Hobbs and Mardi Gras,” an article for Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide and an exhibition catalogue for “From Our Illustrious Past: Antebellum Portraits of St. Mary Parish” for the Grevemberg House Museum.
Ms. Kheel has lectured on Louisiana and Southern art at Louisiana State Museum, the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Alexander Mouton House, West Baton Rouge Museum, Natchitoches Historic Foundation, Inc., and Classical Institute of the South.
What are your favorite activities when you are not working?
I enjoy gardening, swimming, visiting museums and galleries, working on my historic house, and spending time with my son and two dogs.
What is your favorite thing about SoPA?
I really enjoy meeting and teaching the adult students at SOPA. I understand that most students take my class as a means of fulfilling their humanities studies, but I feel that my students develop an appreciation of being introduced to the art and artist of Louisiana and visiting local museums. I think my students leave my class with a new perspective on art and museums.
What's the first career you dreamed of having as a child?
As a child, I thought about being an actress. My mother loved the plays and was involved with a local theater.