Anna Cristina Lee appointed as Photography Curator for Special Collections with the Stanford Libraries

July 15, 2021
Robert G Trujillo
Anna Cristina Lee, newly appointed photography curator

The Department of Special Collections of Stanford Libraries has appointed Anna Lee as its Photography Curator. She will begin her new assignment September 13, 2021.

Stanford’s Special Collections has developed a new vision for its photography collection development program. Building on the work begun by inaugural Curator for Photography Peter Blank, who retired at the end of May, 2021, the Department of Special Collections remains committed to continuing its Photography Initiative. To continue moving this initiative forward, Special Collections sought an experienced, creative and effective curator to perform expert curatorial/bibliographic functions, collection development and management, public services, and related technical processing tasks. As Special Collections continues to build on its existing and significant holdings of historical and contemporary photography, Anna will work closely and collaboratively with the Stanford University community, especially with other Stanford Libraries’ curators and bibliographers and the staff of the Stanford museums. 

From 2018 to 2021, Anna was the William and Sarah Ross Soter Associate Curator of Photography with the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, OH. At Columbus, she organized exhibitions of work by Gauri Gill and Deana Lawson; commissioned new projects by Lois Conner and Melissa Vogley Woods; and together with The Works in Newark, Ohio, organized a joint exhibition of historical photographs by Clarence H. White, Ema Spencer, and the Newark Camera Club. Anna is the guest curator for the forthcoming exhibition, “Gina Osterloh: Mirror, Shadow, Shape,” which will open at the Columbus Museum of Art in 2022, and which will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue with contributions by Ellen Tani and Sheilah ReStack.

Previously, Anna served as Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Photography at Smith College in Northampton, MA, where she acquired photographic works to expand the permanent collection, co-curated an exhibition of process-oriented photography, and designed and taught courses on topics in visual culture and social justice. Anna has also held teaching appointments at the University of Chicago and Columbia College, Chicago. She has published and presented on a range of topics, including vernacular photography and contemporary photographers working in the Midwest.

Anna earned her Art History from the University of Chicago with a dissertation that examined the role of aesthetics in amateur photography from the 19th century to contemporary practice. She received her B.A. magna cum laude in English Literature and Comparative Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Photographic holdings in the Department of Special Collections support not only Stanford research and instructional endeavors, but also reach an international audience through the Photography Initiative’s active acquisition, exhibition, publication, and loan programs.  The collections include thousands of prints by hundreds of artists, archives of individual photographers (including negatives, contact sheets, and manuscript material(s), including oral histories.

We look forward to working with Anna and welcome her to the Stanford Libraries and the Stanford community.