Valérie C. Whitacre graduated with a self designed BA in Philosophical Studies in Art History from Scripps College in 2008. While at Scripps, she received the C. Jane Hurley Wilson ’64 and Michael G. Wilson Internship at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. She also interned at the Musée d’Orsay (2006) and later at Monitor Group (2007), to build up her business experience. In 2008, Valérie was selected for the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Foundation scholarship, awarded to an outstanding Scripps Art History student to support study for a Master’s degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. At the Courtauld Institute, Valérie studied Contemporary Art and Globalisation, completing her studies with a dissertation on contemporary photojournalistic practices and its relation to Fine Art photography.
Valérie’s experience has been largely influenced by the personal and professional support of Claremont alumni Michael and Jane Wilson, from whom she received her first scholarship at Scripps. Valérie worked with the Wilson’s illustrious photography collection as she pursued her MA, which led to internships at the Tosca Photography Fund, the Timothy Taylor Gallery, the World Photography Organisation, and Christie’s Photography Department in London.
In the summer of 2010, Valérie started with James Hyman Gallery, focusing especially on the development of the gallery’s photography sales and exhibition programme. The gallery now focuses the majority of its business in early vintage photographs, presenting the most important 19th and early 20th Century works by the leaders such as Atget, Brassai, Man Ray and Fox Talbot. Valérie works alongside James Hyman to curate academically and commercially successful exhibitions at international art fairs including AIPAD, New York, Paris Photo, Paris, Masterpiece, London and Frieze Masters, London. She led the gallery toward its first year participating in each of these world-renowned fairs.
Currently, Valérie runs her own advisory BLACK etc. Ltd, founded in 2013. Her primary passion is still photography and still puts most of her aesthetic attention to this. However, at the start of 2014, she took a role advising the Stellar International Art Foundation – a private collection of contemporary art. Six months after her start, the foundation published its first publication and showcased its first exhibition. Valérie is incredibly proud to have organized the completion of both, and is already onto other projects to increase the Foundation’s exposure and to promote individual works from within it around the world.