Curator Biography

Harry Cooper
Curator and Head of Modern Art
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Harry Cooper is curator and head of modern art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Since joining the Gallery in February 2008, he has organized The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works and initiated a series of focus exhibitions in the Tower Gallery of the East Building on such artists as Philip Guston, Mark Rothko, and Nam June Paik.

Before joining the Gallery in February 2008, Cooper served for ten years as the curator of modern art at the Harvard University Art Museums. There he organized a dozen exhibitions, including Frank Stella 1958 (2006), Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions (2003), and Mondrian: The Transatlantic Paintings (2001). Cooper lectured in Harvard's art history department on a wide variety of topics, from Paul Cézanne to abstract expressionism. He has also taught at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and Columbia University, New York,

A native of Bethesda, Maryland, Cooper began his career as a researcher at the Wilson Quarterly of the Smithsonian Institution. From 1985 to 1990 he taught adolescents with learning disabilities in the Washington, DC, region. From 1993 to 1995 Cooper worked as an exhibition specialist on the Piet Mondrian retrospective at the National Gallery of Art. He has published numerous articles as well as book reviews and criticism. His most recent essay, "On the Dot," appears in the catalogue for Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective.

Cooper received a PhD in 1997 from Harvard University, an MA in 1992 from Johns Hopkins University, and an AB in American history and literature in 1981 from Harvard University. Cooper also holds a certificate in drawing and painting from the Corcoran Museum School of Art, Washington, DC.

General Information

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Curator Biography

Harry Cooper
Curator and Head of Modern Art
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Press Releases

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
October 14, 2012–January 13, 2013

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape
May 6–August 12, 2012

In the Tower: Nam June Paik
March 13–October 2, 2011

The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works
October 1, 2009–May 2, 2010

Press Contact

For Press Inquiries Only:
(202) 842-6353

Chief Press Officer
Deborah Ziska
(202) 842-6353