Associate Curator, Department of Photography, Museum of Modern Art
Mitra Abbaspour ’99 graduated with a double major in Studio Art and Art History from Scripps.
As an Associate Curator at MoMA, Mitra leads a multifaceted research project to examine MoMA’s holdings of the Thomas Walther Collection of interwar European and American photography with a two-armed approach. One arm is based on the most advanced forensic conservation technology to determine the exact date and location of each print and the second arm is traditional art history research and analysis to provide a structure, context, and purpose for the first arm. The whole project has a four-year arc, culminating in a scholarly anthology/catalog and online resource.
Currently, she is also a doctoral candidate in art history at the City University of New York, specializing in the art history of the modern Middle East. She is completing a dissertation on the contemporary construction of the history of photography in the Middle East from Armenian, Kurdish and pan-Arab perspectives.
During her time abroad in 1998 Mitra worked as an intern to the director of Galerîa Metta in Madrid, Spain and in 2000 she designed a Web-based educational database for the permanent collection of the UCR/ Sweeney Art Gallery. Mitra completed her Masters in Art History in 2001 at University of California, Riverside. Following her Master’s, Mitra worked as the Assistant Curator, Museum Writer, and Director of Public Relations at the UCR/California Museum of Photography. Over the last six years, Mitra has taught art history courses at Brooklyn College and Hunter College in New York.
“My Scripps education has had a marked impact on my career. The curriculum provided me with a strong foundation in interdisciplinary critical thinking that I continue to employ. However, even more significantly, the wealth of opportunities for leadership within the Scripps community and the tremendous engagement and support of the professors gave me the confidence to seek, take on, and create opportunities for myself once I had graduated. I must also acknowledge that I have been inspired and encouraged by the extensive community of Scripps alumnae in the arts.”