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.


The writings in this anthology, Storytellers of Art Histories, amplify the voices of those who are reshaping art histories: not only art historians and curators but also archivists and artists. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of our contributors have fluid practices, which render these categories moot. 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 individual in this book has provided short, often very personal contributions indicating how they began to become passionate about their practice. 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.

Yasmeen Siddiqui, 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 History and Theory at Florida International University, Miami. He is the author of Productive Failure: Writing Queer Transnational South Asian Art Histories (Manchester University Press, 2017).

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