Art Historian Sarah Lewis Is Helming the New Yorker’s Photo Instagram Account at the Moment

A portrait of Douglass by Samuel Miller.


Truth be told, that headline just about sums it up. But to expand a bit: for the next few days, art historian Sarah Lewis is posting images on the Instagram account of the New Yorker’s photo department that she uses in the class she teaches at Harvard University on “art, race, and justice.” Lewis writes, “What I’ve done is forced myself to answer this question: What are 15 images that chronicle America’s journey toward a more inclusive level of citizenship?”

Lewis (whom my colleague Maximilíano Durón interviewed in 2016 about the issue of Aperture she guest edited, titled “Vision & Justice”) has begun her ’gram residency with an 1849 photo of Frederick Douglass by Samuel Miller. Douglass, she notes, was “the most photographed American man in the nineteenth century. Not African American man. American man.” Which is something I did not know.

But enough talking: go have a look. (And when you have a moment, scroll back a bit to find an array of images by the great Paul Mpagi Sepuya.)

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