Saisha Grayson, Curator

September 15, 2023

Saisha Grayson is the curator of time-based media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; she joined the museum’s staff in March 2018. Her responsibilities include research, exhibitions and acquisitions related to the museum’s collection of time-based media. Her research interests include contemporary American art as well as medieval art, film studies, feminist theory and political science.  

Recent projects include “Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies” (2023) and “Carrie Mae Weems: Looking Forward, Looking Back” (2023). In 2019, she established an annual Women’s Filmmaker Festival at the museum that features screenings and artist talks.    

From 2011 to 2016, Grayson worked as an assistant curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. While there, she served as organizing curator of “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey” (2013), the site-specific exhibition “Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time” (2014) and co-curated the experimental group exhibition “Agitprop!” (2015).   

Grayson earned a master’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate degree at the Graduate Center, CUNY; her dissertation is titled “Cellist, Catalyst, Collaborator: The Work of Charlotte Moorman.”   

Her writing on contemporary media and performance art has appeared in numerous journals and catalogs. Grayson taught art history at Queens College, CUNY and Ithaca College, and has guest lectured at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School and the Maryland Institute College of Arts. She was awarded a predoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2016 and a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art in 2017. 

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the flagship museum in the United States for American art and craft. It is home to one of the most significant and inclusive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building, located at Eighth and G streets N.W., is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check online for current hours and admission information. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

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Saisha Grayson, photo by Cayla Ann Photography