Trained as an art historian, Nora Halpern joined Americans for the Arts in 2001, following four years in Oxford, England, where she served as a dissertation advisor in art history to Doctor of Philosophy candidates at the University of Oxford while continuing her work as an independent curator and art advisor. Prior to living in England, Nora was based in Los Angeles, where she was curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Collections, Founding Director of the Museum at Pepperdine University, and Vice President and Director of Fine Arts for Sotheby’s, Los Angeles. Nora received both her BA and MA from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study program as a Helena Rubinstein Fellow. She has written and lectured internationally on modern and contemporary art and arts policy issues, and served as an art critic for national and international publications.
Nora was a member of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission and received the Mayor’s Award of Merit for outstanding volunteer service in the advancement of human relations. She has served on the boards of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, ArtTable, PS Arts, and Scholastic’s Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Nora is Co-Founder of Street Scenes: Projects for DC, a public art program which places temporary art experiences across the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She was the curator of Anton’s Memory, a major retrospective exhibition of Yoko Ono, which was held in 2009 at the Palazzo Tito in Venice, Italy. In 2020, she was part of the collective of curators for Artists Band Together, a project which produced 15 artist-designed bandanas which were sold to benefit not-for-profits which focused on expanding voter turnout for the 2020 elections.