Storytellers of Art Histories (Book)

A collection of first-person narratives from an international group of art historians, curators, artists and archivists. Fills a significant gap in the literature by demonstrating how these practitioners’ work comes together to teach and write art history, and the relationship between curatorial studies and art history. 5 b/w illus.


This anthology, Storytellers of Art Histories, gives voice to those who are reshaping art histories: not only art historians and curators, but also archivists and artists.

There is a special focus on gender, race (including Whiteness), class, sexuality and transnationality – all of which are often marginalized in dominant art histories. Each of the contributors in this book has provided short, often very personal, contributions describing how they began to become passionate about their practice. A particular feature of the collection is that there are twice as many contributions by women than by men.

The contributors respond in a multitude of surprising ways, appealing equally to people enmeshed in the field through their work and to those simply interested in the field. The stories you will read take various forms – a letter written to a friend, a revisioned grant application, the pastiche of image and text, children’s fables, interviews, co-authored narrative, memoir, manifesto, apology. A number of the essays perform, through a combination of recollected early memory alongside scholarly research, the roots of the theories they explore through publishing, curating and archival work.

Many of the contributors embody overlapping cultural diasporas that suggest the porousness of borders, challenging the field to understand itself as a product of regional art histories. Collecting this range of narratives born from different workplaces and disciplines speaks to our belief in the potential boundlessness of the art histories that shape the stories we consume.

Storytellers of Art Histories brings together the first-person narratives of an international group of art historians, curators, artists and archivists. This much-needed book book fills a significant gap in the literature, showing how these practitioners’ works come together productively in the teaching and writing of art history. The anthology also illuminates the relationship between curatorial studies and art history.

Primary readership will include artists, art historians, archivists, curators and educators. It will be a useful resource for educators and students connected with undergraduate courses in art history, contemporary art history and curatorial and museum studies.

Yasmeen Siddiqui is the founding director of Minerva Projects, an independent art press. Her work has been published in catalogues, as well as on Hyperallergic, and in Art Papers, Cairo Times, Medina Magazine, Flash Art, Modern Painters, NKA and The Brooklyn Rail. She has been the recipient of 2018 Ucross Foundation Residency Fellow; 2018 ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award Nominee; 2008 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship and is a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute.

Alpesh Kantilal Patel is associate professor of contemporary art and visual culture at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University. He is the author of Productive Failure: Writing Queer Transnational South Asian Art Histories (Manchester University Press, 2017).



Alpesh Kantilal Patel and Yasmeen Siddiqui


Nana Adusei-Poku

Michelle Antoinette

Regine Basha

Abby Chen

Delinda Collier

Parul Dave-Mukherji

Jane Chin Davidson

Allan deSouza

Claire Farago and Donald Preziosi

Josh T Franco

Chitra Ganesh

David J. Getsy

RoseLee Goldberg

Amy Hamlin

Beáta Hock

Claire Hsu

Alice Ming Wai Jim

Amelia Jones

Ying Kwok

Miranda Lash

Việt Lê and Waseem Kazzah

Paweł Leszkowicz

Lucy R. Lippard

Margo Machida

Amalia Mesa-Bains

Marsha Meskimmon

Combiz Moussavi-Aghdam

Derek Conrad Murray

Samuel Peck

Raqs Media Collective

Shahzia Sikander

Lowery Stokes Sims

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Przemysław Strożek

Gloria Sutton



Related Titles