Rochester, N.Y., August 3, 2015—George Eastman House has announced the appointment of Heather Shannon as Assistant Curator in the Department of Photography. Shannon brings more than a decade of academic and museum experience to her new role at Eastman House, where she will be focusing on 19th century photography.
Prior to joining the staff at George Eastman House, Shannon was the photograph archivist for the National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Shannon also worked for many years in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library, cataloging rare books and the Western Americana photographs collection.
During her tenure at the National Museum of the American Indian, Shannon curated the exhibition Indelible: The Platinum Prints of Larry McNeil and Will Wilson, which was on display from June 2014 to January 2015. With her colleagues at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Shannon co-curated Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner’s Photographs, 1859–1872, which will be on view starting in September. Shannon was also responsible for hosting Will Wilson’s Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) in the rotunda of the National Museum of the American Indian.
In addition to curatorial work, Shannon has published essays on photographs made during the 1862 Dakota War in Minnesota and on Native American photographic portraiture. Most recently she contributed an essay based on her dissertation research to Photography and Its Origins, edited by Tanya Sheehan and Andrés Mario Zervigón (London: Routledge, 2015).
Shannon is currently a PhD candidate in art history at Rutgers University, finishing her dissertation, Primitive Camera: Adam Clark Vroman and the American Southwest, 1895–1904. Her dissertation research has received support from such institutions as the National Portrait Gallery, the Huntington Library, the Autry National Center, and the American Philosophical Society. Shannon currently resides in Rochester, NY.