The Harvard Art Museums announced today that it has appointed Makeda Best as curator of photography. Best will leave her current position as assistant professor of visual studies at the California College of the Arts and take up her new role on January 17.
Best last attended Harvard as a student, receiving her M.A. and Ph.D from the university’s department of history of art and architecture. Best later worked as an assistant curator and graduate fellow at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, organizing numerous exhibitions as well as researching the museum’s documentary and war photography collections. Prior to her current position, Best taught at the University of Vermont, where she developed museum-based learning courses related to the history of photography and American art.
“I am excited to return to Harvard and the museums’ vast teaching collections, which offer so many ways to explore the formal and conceptual challenges that photographers have faced and to consider how they’ve negotiated new technologies, processes, social factors, and trends in visual culture over time,” Best said in a statement.
Martha Tedeschi, the director of Harvard Art Museums, added in a statement that “Makeda’s deep understanding of photography as an art form—and as a social, cultural, and political force—will advance new and challenging ideas to support our teaching and learning mission.”