February 17, 2023

New Appointment

Renée Mussai joins The Walther Collection as Artistic Director and Chief Curator

  • Renee Mussai by Christa Holka 31 Aug22 301 copy

We are delighted to announce the appointment of London-based curator, writer and art historian Renée Mussai as the first Artistic Director of The Walther Collection, and its new Chief Curator. The double role will comprise leading the Collection's curatorial, editorial and scholarly initiatives, alongside shaping its future artistic program vision and new acquisitions.

An established research-led curator and scholar of photography and visual culture, Renée joins The Walther Collection with more than 20 years’ experience in the arts, following two decades as senior curator and head of curatorial & collection at Autograph, London – a long-term role enhanced by a rich track-record of independent curating, publishing, writing and teaching internationally.

Working between London, New York and Neu-Ulm, Renée will be responsible for The Walther Collection’s wide-ranging international activities, with a focus on expanding the scope of its publishing program, collection development, and travelling exhibitions through institutional collaborations.

“I am thrilled to be joining The Walther Collection and feel both honored and privileged to lead the next chapter of this remarkable cultural resource, building on the foundation’s profound commitment to supporting a diverse constituency of artists working in lens-based media, and amplifying the collection’s exceptional dual scholarly and curatorial remit. I look forward to forge new partnerships, working closely with ground-breaking artists, curators and scholars from different backgrounds, and to continue to create exciting programming that will offer new knowledge, expanding the field for and with photography and moving image communities globally.”

As Artur Walther says,

“Renée has been a close friend of the collection since its inception and was curatorial advisor for our recent projects, such as the African photography exhibition “Shifting Dialogues” at K21 in Düsseldorf and played a crucial role in the development of our upcoming survey show “Trace – Formations of Likeness” at Haus der Kunst in Munich. I have long admired her curatorial work at Autograph, her writing and publications, and commitment to research and excellent scholarship. I am deeply pleased that she join us full-time as artistic director and look forward to continue developing the collection with her, and expand the boundaries of the photographic medium together.”


Renée Mussai is a London-based curator, writer and scholar of photography and lens-based media with a special interest in African and Afro-diasporic black feminist and queer visual arts practices.

The former senior curator and head of curatorial & collection at Autograph, London, Mussai was responsible for a wide range of critically acclaimed exhibitions, artist commissions, research initiatives and publications and has organised numerous solo and group shows in Europe, Africa and America over the past two decades, including immersive gallery installations for Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama—Hail the Dark Lioness’ (2017 – 2021); Phoebe Boswell’s ‘The Space Between Things’ (2018); and veteran Ghanaian photographer James Barnor’s first-ever retrospective ‘Ever Young’ (2010), amongst many others.

Alongside her research-led curatorial practice, she lectures and publishes widely on photography and visual activism. Her publications include Lina Iris Viktor's award-winning exhibition monograph Some Are Born to Endless Night—Dark Matter (2020), and the forthcoming Eyes That Commit: Black Women and Non-Binary PhotographersA Visual Survey’ (Prestel, 2023) and ‘Black Chronicles—Photography, Race, and Difference in Victorian Britain’ (Autograph, 2024).

Between 2009 and 2018 Mussai was regular guest curator and non-resident Fellow at the Hutchins Centre for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and she is currently Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg; Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London; and doctoral candidate in the department of art history at University College London.

Read an in-depth interview here:

1000 Words / Curator Conversations: #15 Renée Mussai

  • Renee Mussai by Christa Holka 31 Aug22 154bw copy

Photo Credit: Renée Mussai, 2022 by © Christa Holka

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