Giulia Paoletti

Assistant Professor, Art History


Giulia Paoletti is a historian and curator of art and photography with a focus on nineteenth and twentieth century African art. Her book Portrait and Place: Photography in Senegal, 1840-1960 (Princeton University Press, 2024) offers the first extended study of photography in one of Africa’s epicenters of modernity. 

Her work has appeared in edited volumes and journals including Art HistoryCahiers d'études africaines, the Metropolitan Museum JournalArt in TranslationJournal of African HistoryTroubles dans les collections and African Arts and MoMA Post.     

Support for her research and writing include awards and fellowships from American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/Getty; The Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA); the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.      

She has co-curated three exhibitions on historical and contemporary photography from Africa at the Metropolitan Museum, the Wallach Gallery and Dak’art Biennial OFF 2018.  

She has taught and lectured at Columbia University, Pratt Institute, the University of Kansas, the Barnes Foundation, and the University of Bologna. At UVA, Paoletti teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on Africa’s histories of photography, modern and contemporary art, classical arts and exhibition histories.

Currently, she is working on her second research project on the relation between photography and textile. 

A full list of publications is available here:

The Siren Project