Sarah Lewis is an Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, an M.Phil from Oxford University, and her Ph.D. from Yale University in the History of Art. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern, London and taught at Yale University School of Art.
Lewis is the guest editor of the landmark "Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture which received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography. The issue was made required reading for all incoming freshman at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for the 2016-2017 academic year. Lewis’s research interests focus on representations of race in contemporary art and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America culture and across the Black Atlantic world. Her scholarship been published in many academic journals as well as The New Yorker, the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America and in publications for the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli. She is currently finishing her current book project on race and photography under contract with Harvard University Press. She is also the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, which has been reviewed widely, translated into 7 languages, and was the Provost’s reading selection at the University of Houston, making it required reading for all incoming freshman.
Her current book project, which lies at the intersection of African American Studies, Art History, and Slavic Studies, is under contract with Harvard University Press. Her scholarship has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition.
Lewis has served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee and currently serves on the board of the Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts, Creative Time, and The CUNY Graduate Center.
Lewis is a frequent speaker and has lectured at many universities and conferences from TEDGlobal to the Aspen Ideas Festival. She has been profiled in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal.
She lives in Cambridge, MA.
Cambridge, MA 02138