Ellen S. Harris
Photography Collector and Independent Collections Adviser
New York, NY, USA
Ellen S. Harris, photography collector and independent collections adviser, was CEO of Aperture Foundation 2003-2008. While Aperture she oversaw the magazine, Aperture’s respected book publishing activities, website, traveling exhibitions, and limited-edition print publication program. Before arriving at Aperture, she spent eight and a half years as Executive Director of the Montclair Art Museum, a museum of American and Native American art located in Montclair, NJ. While there, she undertook the task of beginning what has become a significant collection of photographs and related media.
In the early ‘90s Ms. Harris was deputy director of the Museum of Modern Art, responsible for publications, finance, restaurants, and retail operations. She spent five years as Director of Exhibitions at Pratt Institute, where she spear-headed an ambitious program of traveling thematic exhibitions based on the work of established and emerging artists. She has written for Art in America, Art News, and Aperture. She has also been guest author of numerous photography books and catalogues. She is also on the Photography Acquisitions Committee of the Jewish Museum.
Ms. Harris’ interests span conceptual, narrative, and abstract “cameraless” photography as well as portraiture and landscape. As a passionate advocate for photographers and photography she believes in, Ms. Harris looks for a cohesive voice that makes an artist’s work stand out and demand to be reckoned with. In the portfolios she reviews, Ms. Harris seeks visual evidence of artists’ commitment and originality, and is indifferent to whether the resulting work is beautiful/resolved or ugly/uncomfortable. Given her wide-ranging relations with gallerists, curators, and publishers, she can provide practical advice about career strategies.