Sarah Lewis

Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African American Studies

Sarah Lewis is an Assistant Professor at Harvard University in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of African and African American Studies.

Lewis is the guest editor of the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture (2016) which received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography. The widely reviewed issue was also made required reading for all incoming freshman at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Her articles on race, contemporary art, and culture have been published in many academic journals as well as The New Yorker, the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America and for the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli. Her current book project is under contract with Harvard University Press.

Lewis is also the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (2014) which has been reviewed widely, translated into 7 languages, and was the Provost’s reading selection at the University of Houston and Hofstra University, making it required reading for all incoming freshman.

Lewis is a frequent keynote speaker at many universities and conferences from TED, SXSW, PopTech, ASCD and for a wide range of organizations from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the Federal Reserve Bank. Her work has been profiled in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Her scholarship has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Milton Fund, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, an M.Phil from Oxford University, and her Ph.D. from Yale University in the History of Art. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern, London. She also served as a Critic at Yale University School of Art. She currently serves on the board of Creative Time and the Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts and has served on the board of The Brearley School and The CUNY Graduate Center.

She lives in New York City and Cambridge, MA.