Makeda Best

Makeda Best


CCL Class of 2024


Oakland Museum of California


Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs

Institution at time of Fellowship

Oakland Museum of California

Makeda Best is the Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Oakland Museum of California, where she oversees the Curatorial, Collections and Production departments. Formerly a curator and head of the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums, her exhibitions included Time is Now: Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s Americaand Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography Since 1970. She also conceived of Reframe, an initiative to reimagine collecting and curatorial projects through wider historical interpretations, and perspectives of equity, and transparency. The catalogue for Devour the Landwas awarded 2022 Photography Catalogue of the Year by Aperture/Paris Photo. Best has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues, journals and scholarly publications. She is the author of Elevate the Masses: Alexander Gardner, Photography and Democracy in 19th Century Americaand co-editor of Conflict and Identity in American Art. In addition to serving on many juries, panels, and advisory teams, she is a co-founder and current board member of Museums Moving Forward, an independent, limited-life organization devoted to envisioning and creating a more just museum sector by 2030. She holds an MFA from CalArts and PhD from Harvard University.

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Center for Curatorial Leadership Announces 2024 Fellows

The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) is delighted to announce the incoming cohort of 2024 Fellows. Twelve outstanding curators have been selected by a group of leading museum professionals for their distinguished record of achievement and commitment to fostering more equitable and inclusive institutions. Since its founding in 2007, CCL ... Read More >