Melissa Ho, Curator

March 1, 2017

Melissa Ho is the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s curator of 20th-century art; she joined the museum’s staff in September 2016. Ho is responsible for research, acquisitions and exhibitions related to the museum’s collections focusing on art since 1945. She also leads the museum’s Asian American art collecting initiative. Ho’s exhibitions include "Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975” (2019), “Artist to Artist” (2021-ongoing) and the forthcoming “Composing Color: The Paintings of Alma Thomas” (2023). 

From 2011 to 2016, Ho was a curator at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where she organized “Shirin Neshat: Facing History” (2015) with Melissa Chiu, “Salvatore Scarpitta: Traveler” (2014), and “Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt” (2012). She also co-curated, with Evelyn Hankins, a re-installation of the museum’s collection, “At the Hub of Things” (2014).

Ho earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art and art history from Princeton University and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. 

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, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

Press Images

A photograph of Melissa Ho.
Press - Melissa Ho

Photo by Jeff Elkins.