Eleanor Antin was born in New York City in 1935. An influential performance artist, filmmaker, and installation artist, Antin delves into history—whether of ancient Rome, the Crimean War, the salons of nineteenth-century Europe, or her own Jewish heritage and Yiddish culture—as a way to explore the present. Her most famous persona is that of Eleanora Antinova, the tragically overlooked black ballerina of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. In scripted and non-scripted performances for over a decade, Antin has created a rich body of work, detailing the multiple facets of her beloved Antinova, including a fictitious memoir and numerous films, photographs, installations, performances, and drawings. In her 2001 series "The Last Days of Pompeii," Antin lingers behind the camera to stage the final, catastrophic days of Pompeii in the affluent hills of La Jolla, California. In "The Golden Death" from this series, the imagined citizens of Pompeii drown in the excess of their own wealth—an ironic parable of American culture in the throes of over-consumption. Eleanor Antin received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1997 and a Media Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture in 1998. She is an emeritus Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California at San Diego and is represented by the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery in New York.