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Image: Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Deborah Willis

Deborah Willis, Ph.D.(b. 1948), is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is also the director of NYU’s Center for Black Visual Culture. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, contemporary women photographers and beauty. She is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She has received awards from the College Art Association for Writing Art History in 2021, the Outstanding Service Award from the Royal Photographic Society in the UK and the 2022 Don Tyson Prize for the Advancement of American Art given out by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She is the author of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship and Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, among others. Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include: “Home: Reimagining Interiority” at YoungArts, Miami, “Framing Moments in the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts;” “Migrations and Meanings in Art”; and “Free at they want to be: Artists Committed to Memory” at FotoFocus 2022. Most recently, Dr. Willis was named the 2023 Mary Lucille Dauray Artist-in-Residence by the Norton Museum of Art.

Works are Located in: AAMP, Gallery 4 and Main Window Display

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Deborah Willis website