Perspectives in Context

October 16, 2022 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Whitsell Auditorium

We welcome you to the 2022 Arnold Newman Distinguished Lecturer in Photography program with Harvard Art Museums Curator of Photography, Makeda Best, presented in conjunction with the exhibition PerspectivesThis talk will explore how the photography of the movement for Black lives has encouraged new forms of photo-based documentation – rupturing conventional media communication, tropes of witnessing, traditions of photojournalism, and the notion of the public sphere. 

Makeda Best is a curator, writer and historian of photography. She currently serves as the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums. Her exhibitions include: Time is Now – Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America (2018), Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art (2019) and Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography Since 1970 (2021). Along with Kevin Moore, she is co-curator of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial exhibition, On the Line – Documents of Risk and Faith. In addition to publishing numerous catalog essays and journal articles, she published the book Elevate the Masses – Alexander Gardner, Photography and Democracy in Nineteenth Century America in 2020. She was also co-editor of Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art (2016). Her current book projects explore the intersection between photography, gender, race, labor, and ecological issues. She holds an MFA in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts and a PhD from Harvard University.

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The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Makeda Best headshot
Photo: Unique Nicole