Sarah Hermanson Meister

MoMA curator, erstwhile photographer, admirer of old, authentic and curious things

I have been captivated by photography since the sixth grade when I watched my first print emerge in the developing bath beneath a murky golden safelight. Over the years my interest in the medium has grown and changed in ways that loosely parallel the chemical development process itself—transforming anticipation into surprise and (often) satisfaction, rewarding patience and creativity in equal measure. I never imagined that my childhood hobby would become an academic interest studying art history at Princeton University, or that my internship in the Department of Photography at MoMA would (eventually) lead to becoming a full curator at the Museum in 2009.

I have a soft spot for functional photographs (those not made as fine art), and am keen to combine serious scholarship with an embrace of the medium’s capacity to connect with broad audiences. I am grateful for the inspiration gleaned from unforgettable art, and insight generously given by individuals encountered in my travels across South America, all of which helps me reimagine photography’s history and its future. 

In case it’s not abundantly evident, all views expressed here are my own.