Peter Galassi

Peter Galassi

Fellow: Awarded 2012
Field of Study: Photography Studies

Competition: US & Canada

Peter Galassi is a scholar and curator whose principal fields are photography and nineteenth-century French art.  He was Chief Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from 1991 to 2011.  Earlier at MoMA he was Curatorial Intern (1974–75), Associate Curator (1981-86), and Curator (1986-91). 

Galassi organized or co-organized more than forty exhibitions and countless collection displays at MoMA.  Many exhibitions were accompanied by major publications, including Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century (2010), Jeff Wall (2007), Friedlander (2005), Andreas Gursky (2001), Walker Evans & Company (2000), Aleksandr Rodchenko (1998), Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills (1997), Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective (1996), Pictures of the Times: A Century of Photography from The New York Times (1996),  American Photography 1890–1965 (1995), Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort (1991), Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work (1987), Nicholas Nixon: Pictures of People (1987), and Before Photography: Painting and the Invention of Photography (1981). 

Galassi is also the author of Richard Benson: North South East West (2011), Philip-Lorca diCorcia (1995), and Corot in Italy: Open-Air Painting and the Classical Landscape Tradition (Yale University Press, 1991).  He was a co-curator of In the Light of Italy: Corot and Early Open-Air Painting (National Gallery of Art, 1996).  Other MoMA exhibitions were devoted to the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Helen Chadwick, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Barry Frydlender, Stuart Klipper, Lucas Samaras, Michael Schmidt, Rosalind Solomon, and William Wegman.

Mr. Galassi was born in 1951.  He earned a B.A. from Harvard College (1972) and a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University (1986).  He was twice a fellow in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has won the Eric Mitchell Prize (1992) and the International Center of Photography award for excellence in writing (1988).


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