FOAM FOTOGRAFIEMUSEUM AMSTERDAM named Jane’a Johnson artistic director. Johnson is joining Foam from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she is an assistant professor of Theory of Art + Design and a research fellow at the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion (SEI). Johnson officially joins Foam on Oct. 1.

“We are thrilled to announce that Jane’a will join as Foam’s new Artistic Director. She impressed us with her fresh vision and approach on talent, leadership and the role of photography in society at large,” Foam Board Chair Ingo Uytdehaage said in a statement.

“In Jane’a we found an artistic director who will build and strengthen connections with Foam’s broad partner group. We look forward to introducing her to Amsterdam.”

Located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Foam succinctly describes itself as being “all about photography.” The museum “informs and inspires the widest possible audience by presenting all facets of contemporary photography.” Toward that end, the museum stages exhibitions, publishes a magazine, organizes public programming, and collaborates with international partners.

“She impressed us with her fresh vision and approach on talent, leadership and the role of photography in society at large.”
— Foam Board Chair Ingo Uytdehaage

At RISD, Johnson teaches courses in visual culture and is currently developing an exhibition with the RISD Museum. “Recasting the Dutch Golden Age” will explore how Black subjects are portrayed in Dutch Golden Age painting. Previously, she worked at Brown University’s John Hay Library, Providence Athenaeum Library, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, the California State Library, and Sacramento Public Library.

A native of Sacramento, Calif., Johnson has a broad academic background. She earned Ph.D., from Brown University in modern culture and media. For her dissertation, Lynching and the Archive: A History, she studied lynching images focusing on “their patterns of circulation” and how they are exhibited, archived, and framed for scholarly study.

Johnson also has an M.A. in cinema and media studies from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a B.A., in philosophy from Spelman College in Atlanta. As an undergraduate, Johnson was exchange student at the University of Amsterdam. More than a decade later, her appointment at Foam will bring her back to the city.

“For me, photography is an opportunity to animate important local and global conversations. As artistic director, I will focus on strengthening Foam’s position as a leader, arbiter, and amplifier of those conversations and as a platform for photography,” Johnson said in a statement. “Working at Foam is a wonderful opportunity to take the next step in my career by using my talents to support the museum’s goal ‘to create a Foam for, and of, everyone.’” CT


IMAGE: Jane’a Johnson. | Photo by Lindsay Calmettes and Mandy Draper


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