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Ureña, Leslie J.

Former Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery

Leslie Ureña’s areas of scholarly interest include the history of photography and modern art, with a focus on the visual representation of identity. Her current projects two exhibitions scheduled for 2019: In Mid-Sentence and One Life: Marian Anderson.


Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training

Awards And Honors

Research And Grants


Selected Publications

  • Article

    • Ureña, Leslie. 2020. "Portraying Race beyond Ellis Island: The Case of Lewis Hine." International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity 8 (1):13-37. 2020
    • Urena, Leslie. 2015. "Essays on Uta Barth, Binh Danh, Susan Meiselas, Mikhael Subotsky, Patrick Waterhouse, Idris Khan, David Maisel, and Hiroshi Sugimoto." in The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art, edited by Greenough, Sarah and Nelson, Andrea., National Gallery of Art ; Thames and Hudson. 2015
  • Blog Posting

  • Book

    • Caragol-Barreto, Taina B., Urena, Leslie, and Sajet, Kim. 2022. The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today [Exhibition catalog] Washington, DC. 2022
    • Eye to I: Self-Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery..  Ed. Fortune, Brandon.  2019
    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2018. Photography, Migration and Cultural Encounters in America Institute of Art, Design & Technology. University of Leuven Press. 2018
  • Chapter

    • Ureña, Leslie. 2022. "Mapping Lee Mingwei's Transnational Art Practice; Lim, Michelle; Pyun, Kyunghee." In American Art in Asia. 1 ed. 139–151. New York: Routledge. 2022
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2021. "Photographing migrants and positionality: an interview with Leslie Ureña." In Art and migration: Revisioning the borders of community. Miyamoto, Bénédicte and Ruiz, Marie, editors. 2021
    • Urena, Leslie. 2016. "Essays on Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman, Richard Avedon and Vik Muniz." in Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, edited by Greenough, Sarah, Brookman, Philip, Nelson, Andrea, Urena, Leslie, and Waggoner, Diane., National Gallery of Art. 2016
  • Conference Paper

    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2012. "Photography in Transition." (Taipai) 2012
    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2009. "Teaching Race: Lewis Hine at Ellis Island." College Art Association Annual Conference (Los Angeles, California) 2009. 2009
  • Information Content Entity

    • Ureña, Leslie. 2021. "One Life: Marian Anderson." Given at May 6, 2021. 2021
    • Ureña, Leslie, Lee, Mingwei, and Poulsen, Birita. 2020. "IDENTIFY: Lee Mingwei and Birita Poulsen with Leslie Ureña." Given at The Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture Conversation Series, September 1, 2020. 2020
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2020. "One Life: Marian Anderson." Given at Activism Through Photography: How Photographers Capture Social Movements and Contribute to National Dialogues, . 2020
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2020. "Shifting Curatorial Practice Across Borders." Given at Association of Art Museum Curators Annual Conference, May 1, 2020. 2020
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. ""One Life: Marian Anderson" and "In Mid-Sentence"." Given at July 30, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. ""One Life: Marian Anderson" and "In Mid-Sentence"." Given at September 19, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. ""One Life: Marian Anderson”." Given at September 28, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. "Curating "One Life: Marian Anderson"." Given at September 26, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. "In Mid-Sentence." Given at August 11, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. "Marian Anderson: A New Look at an Iconic Life." Given at August 8, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2019. "One Life: Marian Anderson." Given at August 14, 2019. 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2019. "Remembering Marian Anderson." (7), 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2019. "The World of Marian Anderson: A Turning the Tables Playlist." 2019
    • Ureña, Leslie. 2017. ""Portraying Race beyond Ellis Island," on the panel "ARRIVALS?" at the conference "Encounters: Handling, Placing, and Looking at Photographs in Relation to Migration," International Conference organized by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut, Florence, Italy." Given at . 2017
    • Ureña, Leslie and Clisson, James. 2015. "Crowds in American Imagination." Given at College Art Association Annual Conference, February 13, 2015. 2015
    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2011. "Taiwanese Art Beyond Taiwan: A Conversation with Richard Vine and Manray Hsu." Given at . 2011
    • Ureña, Leslie J. 2007. "Lewis Hine at Ellis Island: The Photography of Immigration and Race, 1904-1926 (Workshop)." Given at . 2007
  • Webpage


  • Exhibit

    • Ureña, Leslie (Curator). 2019. "In Mid-Sentence." Washington, DC: National Portrait Gallery, 2019-05-03 to 2020-03-08..
    • Ureña, Leslie (Curator). 2019. "One Life: Marian Anderson." Washington, DC: National Portrait Gallery, 2019-06-28 to 2020-05-17..
    • Ureña, Leslie and Caragol-Barreto, Taina (Curators). 2022. "The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today." : 2022-04-30 to 2023-02-26..
  • Presentation

    • Ureña, Leslie, Farmer, Sharon, MacDonnell, Kate, Raab, Susana, and Gordon, Sarah. 2021. Our City, Ourselves: Women Photograph Washington [presentation]. March 30, 2021.
    • Caragol, Taína and Ureña, Leslie. 2021. The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition: History and Process [presentation]. March 22, 2021.


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