Michèle C. Cone, Ph.D. 1988 is a French born cultural historian whose scholarship focuses on the art world of France under Vichy and Nazi occupation. In her books, Artists under Vichy (Princeton, 1992), French Modernisms (Cambridge 2001), Art and Politics in France during the German Occupation (U.M.I., 1988), in her interdisciplinary contributions to anthologies and museum catalogues, and in her essays in the Art Bulletin, the Art Journal, the American Historical Review, Modernism/Modernity, Art in America, and Telos, she confronts, as an independent scholar, the dilemmas faced by artists, dealers, critics and collectors stuck in a country overtaken by a fascistic regime and a Nazi occupation, she observes the advent of Vichy, and the return to democracy after the Liberation. A selection of her texts can be read on academia.edu. Her Vichy era archives are now in the Columbia University Libraries.
Before receiving her Ph.D. from New York University and more episodically afterwards, Cone participated in the New York art world, starting with her book The Roots and Routes of Art in the 20th Century published in 1975 by Horizon Press. From 1980 to 2008 she taught French Theory and Art and Politics at the School of Visual Arts; in the 1980s, she acted as New York coordinator for the Italian based magazine Flash Art, and in the 90s contributed to various American, Spanish, French and Italian art publications. In the early 2000s, she became a featured contributor to artnet.com magazine until its demise in 2012. Over the years, a number of her book reviews have appeared in Art in America and elsewhere. She has lectured in numerous venues in the United States and abroad, curated several exhibitions, and run colloquia in various institutions such as the Maison Française of NYU and the School of Visual Arts.
Michèle Cone is a fellow of the Institute for the Humanities at NYU and a former member of the board of the American branch of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA/USA). She holds the decoration of Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres from the French government and received a one-year Chateaubriand Fellowship to research her doctoral thesis in Paris.
Dr. Cone was born and raised in Paris except when she lived as a child in St. Etienne and Chambon-sur-Lignon during World War II. After receiving her Baccalauréeats with honors, she came to Bryn Mawr College from which she graduated at age nineteen. She married Sydney M. Cone III, a now retired lawyer and law professor, who is a great nephew of the Cone sisters from Baltimore; they have two children and two grandchildren. Prior to returning to school for her doctorate, and while living in Paris in the late ‘60s, she studied Art Theory at the Institut d’Art et d’Archéologie. She currently lives in New York with her husband and is working on memoirs of her childhood, and on editing the diary of her grandmother, a French adolescent of Jewish background growing into adulthood in the Paris of the Belle Epoque.