Sarah Lewis


Sarah Lewis has served on President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, been selected for Oprah’s “Power List,” and is a faculty member at Yale University, School of Art in the MFA program. Her new book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery will be released by Simon & Schuster U.S., HarperCollins U.K. in March 2014 and has sold translation rights in Brazil, Holland, Thailand, and South Korea to date. The Rise is a layered, story-driven investigation of how innovation, discovery, and the creative progress are all spurred on by advantages gleaned from the improbable, the unlikely, even failure.

Her second book, based on her Yale dissertation, Black Sea, Black Atlantic: Frederick Douglass, The Circassian Beauties, and American Racial Formation in the Wake of the Civil War, for which she has received support from the Ford Foundation, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition, is under contract with Harvard University Press for release in 2015.

Her essays have been published in The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, and Callaloo and in publications for Rizzoli, the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

She has held positions at both the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She is currently a board member of The Andy Warhol for the Visual Arts, the CUNY Graduate Center, and The Brearley School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an M. Phil from Oxford University, and will receive her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2014. She lives in New York City.