Carrie Mae Weems

Born: 1953

Hometown: Portland, OR

Lives and Works: Syracuse, NY


Education: Graduate Program in Folklore, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1987
MFA, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, 1984
BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, 1981

Works by the Artist

Carrie Mae Weems Bio

About The Artist

With the pitch and timbre of an accomplished storyteller, Carrie Mae Weems examines issues of race, gender politics, and African-American identity in her photography. First picking up the camera for political rather than artistic purposes, Weems studied at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the 1970s with contemporaries Frank Stewart and Coreen Simpson. Weems uses her personal biography in combination with racist and misogynistic jokes, songs, and rebukes to stake claim to the narrative of an ordinary black woman in America. The recipient of a number of awards, Weems has been a visiting professor at both Harvard University and Wellesley College.


Weems has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, the Alpert, the Anonymous was a Woman and the Tiffany Awards. In 2012, Weems was presented with one of the first US Department of State’s Medals of Arts in recognition for her commitment to the State Department’s Art in Embassies program. In 2013 Weems was  the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014 she received the BET Honors Visual Artist Award.


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