Susan Vogel lives in New York, grew up in Beirut, and has lived for long periods in a village in Ivory Coast, and a medieval city in Mali. She is internationally recognized as a curator and African art expert. She has published many books, and written a few, founded an art museum in New York - that survived her departure - and directed two museums. She then successfully completed two years as MFA student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and became a film maker.

Vogel has a PhD in art history and has held the positions of curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Founding Director of the Museum for African Art, Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, and Professor of Art History at Columbia.

Currently, for the Qatar Museums Authority, she is curating an exhibition of tents from the Sahara and Arabian deserts considered as architecture, engineering, and as aesthetic objects. Zaha Hadid will design the exhibition installation and create three oversize versions of the Tuareg, Rendille, and Bedouin tents in contemporary materials and colors. The exhibition is co-produced with the Brooklyn Museum and will open at I.M. Pei’s beautiful Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha fall 2014, continuing to the Brooklyn Museum spring 2015 followed by an international tour.

About her exhibitions, the New York Times recently said, "In the 1980s and '90s [they] revolutionized the way art, any art, could be exhibited. No one else has fully picked up that challenge since." Her book, BAULE: African Art/Western Eyes, received the African Studies Association's highest honor for original research on Africa, the Herskovits Prize. Her body of work was recognized with the prestigious Leadership Award of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. 

She has five documentaries in distribution with Icarus Films through her production company, Prince Street Pictures. In African Arts, Paul Stoller reviewed her films with: “In the very best tradition of documentary filmmaking, Vogel's sensuously contoured films tell stories. . . . Given her sure hand, sharp eye, and narrative focus, I eagerly await Susan Vogel's next cultural production.”

Currently, her book EL ANATSUI: Art and Life, Prestel Publishing, 2012 is in its second printing, and to meet popular demand, her latest film Fold Crumple Crush: Art of El Anatsui has just been released on home video.

Susan Vogel

fold crumple crush: the art of el anatsui