Leslie Ureña joined the National Portrait Gallery in 2016 as assistant curator of photographs. She recently co-organized the presentation of Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom (2013-ongoing), part of the Portrait Gallery’s “IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture” series (April 2018) and is curating two upcoming exhibitions, “In Mid-Sentence” (2019) and “One Life: Marian Anderson” (2019). She also serves as one of the curators of the ongoing “Portraiture Now” series.
Ureña received a BA in art history from Yale University and an MA and PhD in art history from Northwestern University. Her dissertation, “Lewis Hine at Ellis Island: The Photography of Immigration and Race, 1904–1926,” investigated how Hine’s photographs of newcomers shaped and were shaped by competing discourses on race in America.