Carrie Mae Weems
African American photographer



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Carrie Mae Weems
African American photographer
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Date of Birth

April 20, 1953

Place of Birth

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

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Carrie Mae Weems is the only artist courageous enough to bite the hand that feeds her.

She has been a glaring critic of museum politics, especially the exclusion of African-Americans and women, from major museums and exhibitions. And despite her criticism (or maybe because of it) she became the first African-American woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. This is cool but also a little embarrassing for the Guggenheim because the show was in 2014 and was given limited space in the museum so half of the exhibition was cut. Weems stated about the exhibit, “Of course, I’m thrilled. I’m the first African-American woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim. Not to sound pretentious, but I should be having a show there. By now, it should be a moot point for a black artist—but it’s not.” Carrie Mae Weems is the magnifying glass that the white boy’s club of the museum world always feared would come along.

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1953, Weems, like most artists, always knew she was going to be an artist. In 1971, she attempted to move to New York with her then, two year old daughter and find work, but to no avail. Of course this wasn’t enough to keep Weems down. On her 20th birthday, she received her first camera and the rest is pretty much history. She attended University of California, San Diego, Berkeley, and CalArts having small exhibitions of her work along the way. She took a lil trip to Tijuana in 1995 to elope with her now husband, Jeffrey Hoone but then got right back to work. Her fame steadily built until she hit the literal jackpot and won the MacArthur “Genius” grant, because duh.

It’s been said that, “It is Weems’s conviction that radicalism and beauty are complementary, not antithetical, that gives her work its distinctive edge.” This results in museums being excited but also a little terrified to see what she comes up with next.



  1. Scott, Andrea K. "A Place At The Table". The New Yorker. N.p., 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
  2. "Carrie Mae Weems : Things Said About The Artist". Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
  3. Sheets, Hilarie. "Carrie Mae Weems, Photographer And Subject". N.p., 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
  4. "Carrie Mae Weems". Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
  5. Bey, Dawoud. "BOMB Magazine — Carrie Mae Weems By Dawoud Bey". N.p., 2009. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems (born April 20, 1953) is an American artist who works with text, fabric, audio, digital images, and installation video, and is best known for her work in the field of photography. Her award-winning photographs, films, and videos have been displayed in over 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and focus on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, sexism, politics, and personal identity.

She said, "Let me say that my primary concern in art, as in politics, is with the status and place of Afro-Americans in the country." More recently however, she expressed that "Black experience is not really the main point; rather, complex, dimensional, human experience and social inclusion ... is the real point."

She currently is an Artist in residence at Syracuse University.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Carrie Mae Weems.