OLIVIA MCCALL (she/her) is an art historian furthering scholarship on artists bearing witness to the AIDS epidemic and queer experience from the late 1970s through the 1990s, with a specific emphasis on photography, affect, and queer theory. She is particularly interested in affective reinterpretations of snapshot photography, and in photographs as living archives of alternative modes of being. In July 2022, she completed her MA in the History of Art, awarded with High Distinction by The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. The focus of her degree was a course titled "Drop Dead" New York: Art, Film, and Activism Downtown, 1971-1992, taught by Dr. Tom Day. Her dissertation, titled "Transcending and Queering the Album: Nan Goldin and the Affective Archive as 'Home'" was awarded the Director's Letter of Congratulations for excellent performance in the 2021-22 MA History of Art Dissertation.

Olivia is presently the Edith Gowin Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Photography at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, where she is working on an exhibition and publication of Peter Hujar's contact sheets. She is also a Helena Rubinstein Critical Studies fellow in the 2023-24 cohort of the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program (ISP). 


2023-24      Whitney Independent Study Program, Critical Studies

2022      M.A. The Courtauld Institute of Art 

2019      B.A. Barnard College of Columbia University                                                                                                                                                


The Morgan Library & Museum

Collection in Focus: Peter Hujar

Dive deep into the archive of the iconic photographer Peter Hujar with Olivia McCall, Edith Gowin Curatorial Fellow of Photography at The Morgan Library & Museum.
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The Brooklyn Rail

Rachel Stern: One Should Not Look at Anything

A review of One Should Not Look at Anything, a solo exhibition of photographs by artist Rachel Stern, curated by Dr. Ksenia M. Soboleva for Baxter St Camera Club of New York.
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The Brooklyn Rail

Tessa Boffin: 1989—1993

A review of Tessa Boffin: 1989—1993 at Hales Gallery, New York
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Visual AIDS

More Life: Photographer Leslie Kaliades’s Turn Toward the Moving Image

As part of a new series of scholarly writing engaging with the Visual AIDS Archive Project, I consider breath and movement in the film and video works of Leslie Kaliades (1961–1999).
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