Leslie K. Brown

Leslie K. Brown is an independent curator, scholar, and educator pursuing her PhD in Art History at Boston University.  A former curator at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, she holds an MA from the University of Texas at Austin and specializes in the history of photography.  In addition to contributing an essay for Sandi Haber Fifield’s forthcoming book, Between Planting and Picking (Charta, March 2011), Brown’s recent curatorial projects include Traces: Daniel Ranalli, Cape Work 1987-2007 (Provincetown Art Association and Museum) and Out of the Box: Photography Portfolios from the Permanent Collection (deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum).  She has taught at the Art Institute of Boston and the Rhode Island School of Design and served as an invited guest juror and reviewer for exhibitions, grants, publications, and portfolio review events. www.lesliekbrown.com

Dwayne Butcher: What brings you to CAA? Anything in particular?

Leslie K. Brown: I am a second year PhD student in art history at Boston University, specializing in the history of photography.  I attend CAA to stay current in my field and be inspired by new ideas and research.  As a practicing independent curator, I also enjoy attending both history-based and contemporary panels as well as artist interviews and talks.

DB: Do you think there are enough sessions in your field at CAA?

LKB: I would enjoy hearing more papers that engage the history of photography, but they would not necessarily have to be grouped into separate media-specific sessions.  In addition, it would be wonderful to have panels that brought together photohistorians with working photographers.

DB: Can you talk about your current research projects? How did you get interested in the subject?

LKB: Since returning to graduate school, I have been inspired by the related fields of American studies and visual culture.   For my current research, I am interested in issues of views and viewing as well as dictated viewing experiences, often in a touristic mode or mediated by some sort of device or image (real or imagined).  My recent papers include a study of the Tower coin-operated binocular viewer and viewsheds associated with artists’ historic homes and studios. This semester, I hope to work on Kodak Picture Spots and artist collectives that engage the land.  I have always been fascinated by landscape experiences and depictions as well as the history of tourism and vernacular imagery.  Perhaps this has something to do with being the product of a Kodak family!

DB: What are your plans once you finish with the Dissertation? Are there any particular things you would like to do?

LKB: I enjoy curating as well as teaching and hope to continue to do both, before and after the dissertation.  My ideal position would combine these two aspects of my background and training. In addition, I have also found that I enjoy teaching art students art history and being a part of their creative process.

DB: What is your favorite: Artist? Book? Color? Smell? And Food?

LKB: It is hard and difficult to choose! Artist: Jem Southam; Book: Ceremonial Time by John Hanson Mitchell; Color: red; Smell: the woods and rain; Food: vegetarian of all stripes.

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