Longtime MoMA Photography Curator Departs to Direct Aperture Foundation

Sarah Meister, a photography curator at the Museum of Modern Art who has been at the New York institution for more than a decade, will depart her post to lead the Aperture Foundation, which is known for its closely watched exhibitions, books, and magazine dedicated to the medium.

Aperture’s current director, Chris Boot, who has led the organization since 2011, was headed back to London, where he had been previously based. In a statement, photographer and Aperture board member Dawoud Bey praised Boot for having “done an extraordinary job at rebuilding Aperture’s relevance and vitality under his tenure.” Meister will begin at the organization in May.

Much of Meister’s career has been spent at MoMA, where she first began as a curatorial assistant in 1997. She was named curator in 2009, and has since gone on to organize an array of celebrated shows, including last year’s Dorothea Lange survey, as well as ones focused on Bill Brandt and Walker Evans. She is currently working on a show of Brazilian modernist photography.

Her departure will mark the second major shift among MoMA’s photography team in recent years. In 2020, Clément Cheroux left the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to become chief curator of photography at MoMA.

In a statement, Meister said, “Photography is inarguably central to our contemporary experience. I look forward to working with the brilliant team at Aperture to continue to encourage the medium’s capacity to promote understanding and justice, and to partner with artists in whose hands photography serves as an enduring source of inspiration.”

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