Sydney Skelton Simon specializes in post-World War II American art and design. Her dissertation explores the nexus of art, design, science, and corporate culture in Cold War America through the career and oeuvre of the Italian-American artist Harry Bertoia (1915-1978). Of particular interest are Bertoia's centrality to the phenomenon of lobby art, his engagement with an emergent screen culture, and the blurred distinction in his practice between fine and applied art. She was supported by a Luce / ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Simon graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Art History. As an undergraduate, she co-curated two exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery and held summer internships at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. From 2007-2011, she worked as a curatorial assistant in Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Her projects included research and administrative support for exhibitions about Andy Warhol, Nam June Paik, and the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection, as well as the installation of 40,000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in Leo Villareal's Multiverse(2008). While in graduate school, she was the first curatorial intern for the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, writing the wall text and assisting with the layout of the inaugural installation of the newest museum on campus. She has served as co-editor of the 2013 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition Catalog, and as elected graduate student representative at faculty meetings in 2014-2015. Currently, she holds an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research Assistantship at the Cantor Arts Center, where she is curating an exhibition about direct metal sculpture to open in 2018.