Makeda Best is a historian of photography. She is currently revising a book based on her dissertation and research on the Civil War era photographer Alexander Gardner, and co-editing a volume titled Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art. Additional forthcoming publications include essays on memory and Civil War architecture, and the role of memory in George Eastman's marketing of the first mass-market camera. An article on the Boston-based Vietnam War era collective, Artists Against Racism and the War, was recently published in Art in Print. She appears in, wrote for, and advised the multidisciplinary pedagogical resource for middle school and high school teachers, Essential Lens - Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum, produced by Oregon Public Television and Annenberg Learning. Her broader interests include documentary photography, war photography, landscape photography, the photographic book, and photographic illustration. She has worked previously as an Assistant Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and received fellowships from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Phillips Collection, and the Andrew K. Mellon Foundation. She received her BA from Barnard College, BFA and MFA in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts, and MA and PhD from Harvard University in the fields of American Art and the History of Photography. In the fall of 2012, she was appointed to serve on the College Art Association’s Museum Committee. Prior to joining the Visual Studies faculty at CCA, she was as an Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Vermont.
Assistant Professor, Visual Studies