Photo by Darcy Rogers

Allison Janae Hamilton (b. 1984) is a visual artist working in photography, sculpture, installation, and taxidermy.  She was born in Kentucky, raised in Florida, and her maternal family's farm and homestead lies in the rural flatlands of western Tennessee.  Hamilton's relationship with these locations forms the cornerstone of her artwork, which features uncanny scenes that blend the epic with the everyday and the disturbing with the delicate against the backdrop of the rural American south. Each of her works houses narratives that are pieced together from folktales, family lore and overheard gossip, superstitions, sermons, hunting and farming rituals, and Baptist hymns.  The materials she uses—from metal to animal carcasses, found linens to furniture, red clay to antlers and claws—participate in her visioning of what the epic tale or great myth looks and feels like within geographic and imagined southern landscapes.  In this way, Hamilton's work centers on imagination in order to meditate on disruption and magic in the seemingly mundane routines and rituals of rural life.

Hamilton has exhibited at museums and institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC), the Jewish Museum (New York, NY), Fundación Botín (Santander, Spain), the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), and the Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA).  Her work has appeared in the Brighton Photo Biennial and Istanbul Design Biennial.  She was a 2013-2014 Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program, sponsored by the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Hamilton has been awarded artist residencies at Recess (New York, NY), Fundación Botín (Santander, Spain), the School of Visual Arts (New York, NY) and the Rush Arts Foundation (New York, NY). She received her PhD in American Studies at New York University and her MFA in Visual Arts at Columbia University.  Hamilton's artwork has appeared in publications such as Transition Magazine, Women and Performance, Arte Al Limite, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and Artforum

She lives and works in New York City.





  • Allison Janae Hamilton: Kingdom of the Marvelous. Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY.


  • The Black Ain't Project: Installation #1. chashama Gallery, New York, NY.
  • SPACE IS THE PLACE. Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.



  • DandyLion. Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL.
  • Badass Art Man. African American Museum in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.


  • Artists-in-Residence Group Exhibition. SVA Galleries, New York, NY.
  • Wish You Were Here. A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.


  • Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY.


  • Dirty Sensibilities. Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York, NY.


  • Cage Unrequited by Pope.L. A performance co-organized by The Studio Museum in Harlem, Performa,  and The Grey Art Gallery, NYU and in conjunction with the exhibition Radical Presence: Black  Performance in Contemporary Art, curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver.  New York, NY. 
  • Art Director, Roots. |&| Rigor. Director, Tiona McClodden. Philadelphia, PA.


  • Art/Production Team, QueenS. Director, dream hampton.


  • "Committee." Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, The Smithsonian  Institution.   Washington, DC.
  • "Sisters."  Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, The Smithsonian  Institution.   Washington, DC.


  • Critical Perspectives on Visual Culture Symposium, Whitney Museum of American Art. May 20, 2014.


  • Folklife Festival, The Smithsonian Institution,  Washington, DC.
  • Black  Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West Symposium, Université de Paris Diderot, Paris, France.


  • From Portraits to Pinups: Representations of Women in Art and Popular Culture Symposium, Brooklyn Museum,  Brooklyn, NY.


  • Conversations Lecture Series, Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia  University, New York, NY.


  • Transnational Feminisms Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom.


"40 Amazing Black Artists to Watch in 2014," NBC's The Grio. January 3, 2014. Web.

"30 Under 30 Women Photographers," Photoboite. January 1, 2014. Web.

Long, Monique. "Marvelous Dandies: Allison Janae Hamilton Presents Her Foppish Subjects in Lush Landscapes," Studio Museum in Harlem Blog. December 13, 2013. Web.

"Allison Janae Hamilton," Hycide Magazine No. 5 (January 2013), p.59. Print.

"P-Funk," Insight Magazine Vol. 4, No. 3. (Fall 2011), pp. 48-53. Print and Web.


Artforum. November 2014. p. 203. Print.

Transition Magazine. Issue 114 (Summer 2014). pp. 60, 63, 65. Print and Web.

Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. Vol. 22, No 2-3 (Fall 2012).  Cover Image. Print.


Moore, Darnell. "TFW Interview: Allison Janae Hamilton on 'The Black Ain't Project Installation #1: Embodiment,'"  March 7, 2012. Web.

Wimberly, Dexter. "Dirty Sensibilities: A New South," October 12, 2011. Web.


Bailey, Ludlow E. "An Insider's Guide to African Diaspora Art at Basel Miami Beach 2014," December 4, 2014. Web.

Ball, Charing. "Dandies in Paris," December 4, 2012. Web.

Harris, Juliette. "The Great Gathering in Paris," The International Review of African American Art (Spring 2013). Web.

Leavell, Gerald. "Gerald Leavell on ETW '11," April 20, 2011. Web.