Lisa Freiman


Department of Art History

Contact Info

Department of Art History
922 W. Franklin
P.O. Box 843046
Richmond, VA 23284-3046



Lisa Freiman is an internationally recognized curator and leader in the contemporary art field. She currently works as an independent curator, arts consultant, and writer, with a tenured faculty appointment in Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. 

From 2013-2018, Freiman served as the inaugural director of VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA). Freiman directed all aspects of planning and implementation of the ICA, developing its vision, mission, staff, budget, exhibition and education priorities, community engagement plans, and communications strategies. During her tenure, she completed a $37 million capital campaign, launched the endowment campaign, and co-curated the opening exhibition, Declaration

Freiman served as senior curator and chair of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) between 2002 and 2013, creating a dynamic and widely renowned contemporary art program that supported artists’ work through major traveling exhibitions, commissions, acquisitions, and publications. In 2011, Freiman was commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion in the 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, presenting six newly commissioned, site-responsive works by Puerto Rico-based artists Allora & Calzadilla, the first collaborative to be presented in the U.S. Pavilion. Freiman’s 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park opened to international critical acclaim in June 2010. 100 Acres offered a new model for sculpture parks in the 21st century, emphasizing experimentation, place-making, and public engagement with changing commissioned artworks. 

Prior to joining IMA, Freiman worked as assistant professor of art history at the University of Georgia, Athens and served in the curatorial department of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. She earned her PhD and MA degrees in modern and contemporary art history from Emory University and has a BA from Oberlin College.

Recent Work

"Paul Stephen Benjamin: Pure, Very, New"

Marianne Boesky Gallery, NY 2019

"Travelogue," In Paul Villinski

Vivant Books 2019

Aziz & Cucher

Indianapolis Museum of Art; Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag 2012

Gloria: Allora & Calzadilla. The United States Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia

Del Monico/Prestel Books with the Indianapolis Museum of Art 2011

“Orly Genger: Ferocious.” In Orly Genger

Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York 2010

Type A

Indianapolis Museum of Art; Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag 2010

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Everything is Separated by Water

Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art; New Haven and London: Yale University Press 2007