null Asma Naeem
Photo by Micah E. Wood

Asma Naeem

Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director


Asma Naeem (she/her) is the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She previously served as the Museum’s Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator, where she most recently organized an exhibition on the sweeping social importance and art history of the hip hop movement as both American and global phenomena. Her previous exhibitions explored the works of such artists as Salman ToorCandice Breitz, Isaac Julien, and Valerie Maynard. Prior to the BMA, she worked at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, where she presented, among other shows, an early career retrospective of the work of Titus Kaphar. Throughout her career, she has championed the acquisitions of works by female artists and artists from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds. A prolific author, she has written on American art, contemporary art, the South Asian diaspora, and museum studies. Her notable work includes The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century (2023); Out of Earshot: Sound, Technology, and Power in American Art, 1847–1897 (2020); Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now (2018)and contributions in Theaster Gates: Facsimile Cabinet of Women Origin Stories: Reflections (2021), and Art and Activism at Tougaloo College (2022).

She is currently organizing a transatlantic, multigenerational exploration of the Partition of British India in terms of trauma, dignity, and futurity (TBA). Naeem holds a BA in art history and political science from the Johns Hopkins University, a JD from Temple University law school, and a PhD in art history from the University of Maryland. Before returning to art history, she practiced law as a criminal prosecutor in Manhattan and ethics prosecutor in Washington, D.C. She was a 2020 Fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, and serves on boards in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Maine.