News | November 16, 2021

Boston Athenaeum Appoints Lauren Graves Fellow in American Art & Culture

Courtesy of the Boston Athenæum

Boston — The Boston Athenæum is pleased to announce that curator and scholar Lauren Graves has been appointed Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture for a two-year period.

Graves earned a Ph.D. from Boston University in the History of Art in 2021, writing a dissertation on photography in New York City during the New Deal era. A scholar of  photography’s role in shaping daily experiences, cultivating identity, and guiding viewers’ and users’ experiences of place and space, she is particularly focused on expanding perspectives, voices, and spaces in urban studies, architectural studies, and the history of photography.

Graves gained extensive curatorial experience as an intern and fellow at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY; and at City Lore and Exit Art in New York City. She has taught at Boston University and the New York City College of Technology.

Her scholarship in the field includes work on Helen Leavitt, Berenice Abbott, James Wallace Black, Arnold Eagle, Sid Grossman, and women’s photo books of the twentieth century.

For two years, Graves served as Senior Editor of SEQUITUR, a journal published by the Boston University Department of History of Art & Architecture.

“We are delighted that Lauren Graves accepted our offer to serve as the Polly Thayer Starr Fellow,” said the Athenæum’s John Buchtel, Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections. “She will contribute significantly to our curatorial team’s initiatives to connect with a broader public, engaging members and visitors with thought-provoking and delightful exhibitions and programs, and fostering dialogue about issues that matter today.”

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to help advance the interpretation and visibility of the Boston Athenæum’s special collections,” Graves said. “I look forward to working closely with the BA’s extensive documentary photography and architectural photography collections, and engaging the Boston Athenæum and larger Boston community in my research.”