68: On putting meaningful work into the world with art historian Caitlin Woolsey

Today’s episode marks a first for Artist/Mother: our first artist/mother/art historian/poet! Caitlin Woolsey is all of those things and more, holding a PhD in art history from Yale and currently serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the Clark Art Institute. While Caitlin’s scholarly research focuses on the intersections of sound, poetry, and performance in postwar art, storytelling and all of its facets ─ memory, sensation, the body, and more ─ has driven her creativity since her youth. 

Though Caitlin’s professional career is not organized around children, she makes the transformative impact they’ve had on her ─ as both the child of a children’s literature scholar and as a mother herself ─ clear. Balancing work and life as an academic with a partner and two young kids is admittedly a challenge, but a creative one: Caitlin describes the way having children has changed her roles as a teacher, thinker, and creative for the better. As she tells us, she is “learning to be a little more comfortable in the discomfort of not knowing.” 

We talk trying to tell the stories that have not yet been told, the exclusion of women from art and art history, and the importance of following your own path ─ even if it means approaching unforeseen junctures and pursuing opportunities with unknown outcomes. 

Read more about Caitlin’s work on her website
The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn

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