Anita Hill, Who Stood Up to Clarence Thomas, Joins Board of Rose Art Museum

Anita Hill is sworn-in before testifying at the Senate Judiciary hearing on the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination. Hill testified on her charges of alleged sexual harassment by Judge Thomas. Photo from Getty Images.

Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum has added five new board members, most notably Anita Hill, the attorney who accused future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 confirmation hearings.

Her 1998 book, Speaking Truth to Power, tells the story of the firestorm that resulted when, during the hearings, she stated that Thomas asked her on dates, and repeatedly discussed pornography with her as her supervisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The accusation, and her testimony, riveted the nation and brought an unprecedented level of national attention to workplace sexual harassment.

Hill’s ordeal will be the subject of an HBO TV movie, Confirmation, with Scandal star Kerry Washington playing Hill.

Currently, Hill teaches courses on social policy, gender, race, and legal history at Brandeis. Her latest book, Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (2012), tells the stories of African-American women from Hill’s own grandmother to playwright Lorraine Hansberry. In the New York Times, Megan Buskey wrote, “This ambitious book provides just as dignified and well-intentioned a performance as the one she gave at those hearings.” 

Hill has addressed issues of race and gender in her writings in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Fortune, Time, Ms. Magazine and others, and has discussed these topics on National Public Radio’s All Things ConsideredToday, 60 Minutes, Meet the Press, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Also joining the board are Lazar Fruchter, Cynthia Reed, Rivka Saker, and Carey Schwartz.

Fruchter currently lives in Israel, where he is involved in the steel industry, real estate and start-up businesses. He also serves on the board of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Reed is a board member at Le Laboratoire, Cambridge, Massachustts, and serves on the MIT Humanities Visiting Committee. She previously served as a trustee at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Saker, an art collector, is chairman of Sotheby’s Israel, and founded Artis, the art nonprofit, in order to promote Israeli artists. Schwartz is an editor and an art collector who focuses on Israeli artists.

Founded in 1961, the Rose collection includes more than 8,000 objects, with a focus on American art from the 1960s and 1970s. Artists featured include Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol. The museum continues to collect, and has recently acquired examples by Mark Bradford, Chris Burden, Bruce Conner, Al Loving, and Charline von Heyl. In March, the museum bagged a major gift from collector and computer-security magnate Peter Norton.

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