• éclair: noun, a chocolate-frosted oblong pastry filled with whipped cream or custard
  • éclairer: french verb, to lighten, brighten; to shed light, enlighten
  • ellen: greek origin, torch, bright light, sunday, shining light

My full name, Ellen Claire Caldwell, is a conglomerate of terms and meanings.  First, I love sweets, pastries, and everything chocolate, so éclairs have always been my thing (along with being my unofficial namesake). Additionally, both my first and middle names have similar meaning involving lightening, brightening, and shedding light — so it is my hope that through my writing, I can live up to those names.

ellen caldwell


Ellen C. Caldwell is an art historian, writer, and featured contributor to JSTOR Daily, the New American Paintings blog, and KCET’s Artbound. She has taught art history in Los Angeles at Mt. San Antonio College, Otis, and Pepperdine University. In 2014, Caldwell earned a Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Exchange International grant to travel to the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts to complete an arts writing residency.

In 2013, Caldwell’s essay “Myth, Midtopia, and Mapping: Frohawk Two Feathers and the Making of the Frenglish Empire” was featured in Two Feathers’ museum catalogue for his traveling exhibition “You Can Fall: the War of the Mourning Arrows.”

She also co-authored “‘Superpredators’ and ‘Animals’: Images and California’s ‘Get Tough on Crime’ Initiatives” in the Journal of the Institute of Justice & International Studies in 2011; curated “Recrafting History: History, Nostalgia, and Craft in the American Memory” at Taylor De Cordoba in 2011; and co-curated “Edible Empire: African Cocoa in the Global Economy” at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006.


about this site

Ladyrow Reese Galido designed and built this beautiful website.  Artist and muralist Yoshi Takahashi/MR44 designed the ECLAIRE logo and buttons.  And the talented Jeana Sohn took the wonderful bio photographs.
Many thanks to all of them for their time, talent, and help.