Ph.D., City University of New York, 2009
Katherine A. Bussard is Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography at the Princeton University Art Museum. Her areas of specialization include postwar photographic history and theory, and American and contemporary photography. Her book Unfamiliar Streets: Photographs by Richard Avedon, Charles Moore, Martha Rosler, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (2014) is the first critical examination of the genre of street photography. The book constructs a new historical model for understanding street photography by challenging the traditional understanding of street photography and making important connections among urban culture, social history, and the visual arts. She contributed a related essay to the exhibition catalogue Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now (2008), and this research inspired her current interdisciplinary exhibition and publication The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980 (Art Institute of Chicago and Princeton University Art Museum, 2014–15). That project explores photographic and cinematic responses to an era of seismic transformations in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, which contributed to a reconsideration of cities in popular media and urban policy during this period.
Her other publications include the exhibition catalogues Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman (2013) and So the Story Goes: Photographs by Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, and Larry Sultan (2006). Prior to joining the Princeton University Art Museum in 2013, Bussard was associate curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she curated nearly two dozen exhibitions. In addition to those mentioned above, these include Film and Photo in New York (2012); Souvenirs of the Barbizon: Photographs, Paintings and Works on Paper (2011); and a biennial series dedicated to emerging photographers (2005–11).
Bussard’s scholarship has been supported by grants from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Fund of the College Art Association and from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Bussard has taught courses on the history of photography, American and contemporary art. Her seminars have focused on street photography, curatorial practice, and the postwar American city. Her courses rely on student engagement with original works of art.
Bussard is currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring visual responses to the dramatic transformations in postwar American cities. The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980 will be the result of this research. It incorporates scholarship from fields including art history, urban planning, architecture, and cultural studies and will be the first publication to address an important shift in photographic, cinematic, and planning practices based on close observations of streets, neighborhoods, and seminal events in the country’s three largest cities.
The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980, coedited with Alison Fisher and Greg Foster-Rice (Princeton University Art Museum, 2014).
Unfamiliar Streets: Photographs by Richard Avedon, Charles Moore, Martha Rosler, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (Yale University Press, 2014).
Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman, coauthored with Lisa Hostetler (Aperture, 2013).
“Questionnaire / Katherine Bussard,” in Words Without Pictures, ed. Alex Klein (Museum Associates/Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2009; 2nd ed., Aperture, 2010).
“Canon and Context: Notes on American Street Photography,” in Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now, ed. Lydia Yee and Whitney Rugg (Aperture, in collaboration with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 2008).
So the Story Goes: Photographs by Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, and Larry Sultan (The Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press, 2006).