Makeda Best

Makeda Best


CCL/SMH 2021-2023


Oakland Museum of California


Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs

Institution at time of Fellowship

Harvard Art Museums

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.

Articles Related to Makeda Best


CCL/Studio Museum in Harlem Curators' Forum Participants

CCL/Studio Museum in Harlem Curators' Forum With generous support from the Ford and Mellon Foundations, the Center for Curatorial Leadership and the Studio Museum in Harlem partnered in 2021-2023 to establish the CCL/Studio Museum in Harlem Curators’ Forum, a pilot program founded in recognition of the profound contributions that curators of ... Read More >