Who We Are
Merry A. Foresta
Merry Foresta is a speaker and consultant to universities, museums and other
institutions advising on collections and ways to foster innovation in the midst
of challenging times. Her clients include the University of Virginia, Ohio
University, the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, and the Smithsonian.
From 2000-2010 she served as the founding Director of the Smithsonian
Photography Initiative, a program dedicated to greater public access and
use of the Smithsonian’s vast collections of photographic media. She joined
the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1977 and was named the museum's
first Curator of Photography in 1983. She later became the Senior Curator of
Photography for the Smithsonian's International Art Museums Division.
At the Smithsonian, Foresta built one of the world’s premier collections
of American photography. An art historian, she is the author of numerous
catalog essays and articles on American art and photography. Her must
recent publication, At First Sight: Photography and the Smithsonian, featured
a broad sampling of photographs from the institutions art, history, and
science collections. In 2007, she oversaw the launch of the Smithsonian's first
interactive program devoted to photography at the Smithsonian (see Video here).
Read Merry's comments on art and innovation