The Harvard Art Museums are pleased to announce the appointment of Makeda Best as the new Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, effective Jan. 17, 2017.

Best is currently assistant professor in visual studies at the California College of the Arts, specializing in the history of photography. She has also played an ongoing role as a chief advisor and writer for “Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum,” an online multimedia learning platform promoting the multidisciplinary use of photography in middle and high school classrooms, produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Annenberg Learner. Best has also worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as an assistant curator and graduate fellow; there she worked on numerous exhibitions, conducted gallery talks and symposia, and contributed new, insightful research on objects in the collections. Best’s scholarly interests focus on the photobook as well as on documentary and war photography.

Her past teaching experience includes serving as assistant professor in the Department of Art and Architecture at the University of Vermont, where she developed museum-based learning courses in the history of photography and American art.

“Makeda Best is an accomplished scholar and curator, an innovative thinker, and a passionate advocate for teaching with original works of art; we are thrilled to welcome her back to Harvard as the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, a critical role for both the Art Museums and the University,” said Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums.

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