The Harry Ransom Center, the humanities library at the University of Texas, has appointed Jessica S. McDonald to be its new chief curator of photography. McDonald is currently a curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
At the Ransom Center, McDonald will oversee the library’s photography collection, which includes about 5 million prints and negatives, as well as photo books, manuscripts and photographers’ notes and journals spanning the history of photography.
At SFMOMA, McDonald curated the recent exhibition “Photography in Mexico: Selected Works from the Collections of SFMOMA and Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.” She has previously worked with George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and the Visual Studies Workshop, both in Rochester, New York. In 2011, McDonald received an Ansel Adams Research Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography.
In announcing her appointment, Thomas F. Staley, director of the Ransom Center, said, “McDonald’s broad experience–from teaching to curatorial–confirmed that she can lead our photography department, build the collection, support research and plan exhibitions.” She will begin her new job in September.