SARAH LEWIS is the bestselling author of The Rise, which is the biography of an idea—a big idea—that no current term yet captures. It’s about creative human endeavor, and how innovation, mastery, and new concepts are found in unlikely places. Lewis also guest-edited the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture—a landmark collection that addresses race, photography, and social justice.
Sarah Lewis recently guest-edited the summer 2016 issue of Aperture, which has garnered enormous praise. The New York Times, in its article “Reclaiming the Photographic Narrative of African-Americans,” calls it “an insightful volume.” Time makes note of Lewis’s “masterly direction,” while writing that the issue “comes at a time astir with thoughtful considerations about black culture and a new quest for self and identity.” Talking to Fast Company, Lewis, says, “My aim for the issue was to create a constellation of artists, writers, scholars, poets, even musicians who could match the gravity—and enormity—of ‘Vision & Justice’. I hope that it becomes the beginning of a conversation about the transformative role of images and pictures and cinema and media of all kinds for social justice and for citizenship.”
Lewis’s first book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, a bestseller, has been hailed by a who’s who of creative thinkers. Lewis Hyde calls it a “welcome departure from standard accounts of artistry and innovation.” The New York Times calls it “strikingly original”: “Lewis’s voice is so lyrical and engaging that her book, The Rise, can be read in one sitting, which is so much the better since its argument is multilayered and needs to be taken whole.”
Lewis has spoken on the TED main stage, appeared on Oprah’s “Power List,” served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, been profiled in Vogue, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies. She has held positions at Yale’s School of Art, the Tate Modern, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and her essays have been published in Artforum and The Smithsonian. Her second book, on Frederick Douglass, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2016. She received her B.A. from Harvard, M. Phil from Oxford, and Ph.D. from Yale.