History of Art and Architecture

Paula Kupfer


Paula Kupfer specializes in the history of modern art and photography in Latin America. Her research focuses on networks of exiled and immigrant artists across Latin America between 1930 and the late 1960s. In particular, she is investigating the role of women photographers within those networks, and how notions of mobility and displacement are reflected in their photographic practice. In addition to her work on photography, she is interested in the development of video art and film practices in Latin America. 

Before joining HAA, Kupfer worked as the managing editor of Aperture magazine and photo editor for The California Sunday Magazine, and as freelance editor on numerous publications. Her writing has appeared in Contact Sheet, The Photobook Review, Spot magazine, Harper’s Postcard blog, BOMB online, Time LightBox, Hyperallergic, and the Aperture blog. She was one of the specialists invited to select books for the traveling reading room and publication CLAP! 10×10 Contemporary Latin American Photobooks: 2000–2016, shortlisted for the 2017 Aperture–Paris Photo Catalogue of the Year Award.

Education Details

Ph.D., History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh, in progress.

M.A., Art History, Hunter College, New York, 2016
Master's thesis: "Gertrudes Altschul and the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante: Modern Photography and Femininity in 1950s São Paulo"

B.A., Journalism and Latin American Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, New York University, 2009 (cum laude)
Honors thesis: "Contesting City Spaces: Public Art in Bogotá"

Selected Publications

“Jose Velasco” and “Albert Berg” in Traveler Artists: Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (New York: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, 2015)

CLAP! : 10x10 contemporary Latin American photobooks: 2000-2016 (New York: 10x10 Photobooks, 2017) (contributor)

“From Daily Life to Scientific Explorations, Photos of Latin America Between 1860 and Today,” Hyperallergic, May 22, 2017.

“The Strange Eroticism of Fishermen Caressing Dying Fish,” Hyperallergic, March 21, 2017.

“Frayed at the Edges,” BOMB online, March 9, 2017.

“Guadalupe Ruiz: Kleine Fotoenzyklopädie,” The PhotoBook Review #11, Fall 2016.

“A Soulful Photographic Portrait of Cuba,” TIME Lightbox, September 21, 2016.

“The Foto Cine Clube,” Aperture blog, March 28, 2016.

Selected Awards

Kossak Art History Travel Grant, Hunter College, New York, 2016

Marion Netter Award, Hunter College, New York, 2013

Herman J. Wechsler Research Scholar in the Fine Arts, Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fun, New York University, 2009

Selected Presentations

“Gertrudes Altschul and the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante: Modern Photography and Femininity in 1950s São Paulo,” In Black and White: Photography, Race, and the Modern Impulse in Brazil at Midcentury Symposium, Museum of Modern Art and CUNY Graduate Center, New York, May 3, 2017.

CLAP! Panel Discussion on Contemporary Latin American Photobooks, Americas Society, New York, October 28, 2016.