Jessica Bell Brown
Jessica Bell Brown is a writer, curator, and art historian based in Harlem. She is currently a Ph.D.candidate in Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Her research explores the relationship between form, black radicalism, and abstraction in 20th-century African-American art. She is a Teach for America alumna, and before pursuit of graduate study at Princeton, had worked in programming capacities at Creative Time and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Bell Brown curated the 2012 exhibition loop, the first survey of new media and video works of art at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 2016, Bell Brown co-curated with Kelly Baum Collecting Contemporary, 1960–2015: Selections from the Schorr Collection at the Princeton University Art Museum. Bell Brown is a co-founder of Black Art Incubator (2016), a six week social and cultural programming project, held at Recess, which aimed to facilitate deeply engaging connections between artists, art administrators, curators and writers based in New York. In 2016-2017, Bell Brown was the Mellon Museum Research Consortium Fellow in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she worked under the curatorial leadership of Leah Dickerman for Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends (2017). There she spearheaded the production of digital creative projects as well as a documentary series exploring the contemporary impact of Rauschenberg with artists of the present moment, including Glenn Ligon, Sarah Sze, David Lang, Brice Marden, and Charles Atlas. As a writer and critic, she has penned critical essays on contemporary artists Senga Nengudi, Eric Mack, Sam Gilliam, Jennifer Packer, Kerry James Marshall, Charles Ray and Wilmer Wilson,among many others. Her writing and art criticism has appeared in catalogues and publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lévy Gorvy, The Museum of Modern Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Flash Art, Hyperallergic, and The Brooklyn Rail. She received her B.A. in Art History at Northwestern University (2009) and her M.A. in Art History (2016) from Princeton.