Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography
email@example.com / 617-495-5393
Ph.D., Harvard University
M.A., Harvard University
M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
B.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
B.A., Barnard College
Makeda Best oversees the museums’ photography collections. Her scholarly interests focus on 19th- and 20th-century American photography, with a special interest in photojournalism, documentary, war photography, and text and image works. Recent exhibitions include Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art (co-curated with Mary Schneider Enriquez; 2019–20); Winslow Homer: Eyewitness (co-curated with Ethan Lasser; 2019); and Time is Now: Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America (2018).
Elevate the Masses: Alexander Gardner, Photography, and Democracy in Nineteenth-Century America. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2020.
“Learning from Larry Cook’s Archive.” In Larry W. Cook. Berlin: Weiss Berlin, 2020.
“A Surreal Seemingness.” In Debi Cornwall: Necessary Fictions. Sante Fe, N.M.: Radius Books, 2020.
“Ambiguous Documents.” In The 1920 War: The Photographic Account, ed. Karolina Puchała-Rojek. Warsaw: National Museum in Warsaw, 2020.
“Time is Now: Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America.” The James Baldwin Review 5 (1) (Fall 2019): 96–104.
“Cut Aesthetics: William H. Johnson’s Scrapbook History Paintings.” Archives of American Art Journal 58 (1) (Spring 2019).
“Ben Shahn’s Main Street.” In The Construction of the World: Art and Economy, 1919–1939, ed. Eckhart Gillen. Mannheim: Kunsthalle Mannheim, 2018.
“Framing the Prison Experience—An Overview of Photography and Incarceration in America since the Nineteenth Century.” In Louisiana Medley: Photographs by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, eds. Susan Edwards and Deborah Willis. Nashville: The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 2018.
Arouse the Conscience: Alexander Gardner, Photography and Democracy in Nineteenth-Century America. University Park: Penn State University Press. Forthcoming.
“Cut Aesthetics: William H. Johnson’s Scrapbook History Paintings.” Archives of American Art Journal. Forthcoming.
“Memory and Survival in Everyday Textures—Ishiuchi Miyako’s Hiroshima.” In Reimagining Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Nuclear Humanities in the Post-Cold War, ed. N.A.J. Taylor and Robert Jacobs, 30–35. New York: Routledge, 2017.
“A Special Kind of Authenticity—The Portrayal of Civilian Deaths and Injuries in Vernacular Soldier Photography.” In Truth in the Public Sphere, ed. Jason Hannan, 149–165. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
“A Closer Look.” In Essential Lens—Analyzing Photographs across the Curriculum. Video, 21:13. Los Angeles and Portland: Annenberg Learner and Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2015.
De Baća, Miguel, and Makeda Best, eds. Conflict Identity and Protest in American Art. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.
“Memory and Survival in Everyday Textures—Ishiuchi Miyako’s Here and Now: Atomic Bomb Artifacts, ひろしま/ Hiroshima 1945/2007.” Critical Military Studies 1 (2) (2015): 176–80.
“Sensing Memories: The Haptic and Kinesthetic in George Eastman’s Camera.” Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 27 (2015): 56–73.
“Artists against Racism and the War.” Art in Print 3 (6) (March–April 2014): 15–19.