Who Is She
What I have done for Lebanon
As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, my ethnic background and cross-cultural experiences inform my art. I have dedicated my work to exploring issues of personal and collective identity through photographs of female adolescence and womanhood.
By making intimate portraits of women in the United States and in the Middle East – and while still looking to reveal the individuality of each woman who poses before me, I focus on our essence, our physicality and the commonalities that make us human – ultimately highlighting how female subjectivity develops in parallel forms across cultural lines.
Contact information / Work
- Professional courses in photography, 2000-2003, New England School of Photography, USA.
- Professional course in photography, 2005, Maine Media Workshops, Mexico.
- Bachelor degree, Architecture, 1984 - 1987, Cornell University, USA.
- Bachelor degree, BArch, Architecture, 1982 - 1984, American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
- Baccalaureate (French and Lebanese), 1967-1982, Collège Protestant Français, Lebanon.
Areas of expertise
- Social Issues
- Freelance Photographer, 2000-Present, Rania Matar Photography.
- Associate Professor: Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts, 2011- present.
- Photography Visiting Lecturer, 2004-Present, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cleveland Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Stanford University, Tufts University, Harvard University, Institute of Contemporary Arts Boston, Michigan State University, Chicago Cultural Center.
- Photography Exhibitor, 2004-Present, Colleges, Museums, Galleries and Cultural Centers in the US and internationally.
- Freelance architect, 1994-2000.
- Architect and Designer, 1987-1994, Schwartz/Silver Architects (USA).
Honorary office and memberships
- Advisory Board Member at New England Foundation of the Arts.
- Contributing Photographer at the Photographic Resource Center, Boston, 2004 - present.
- Contributing and exhibiting photographer and lecturer at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2004 - present.
- Matar, R. (2009). Ordinary lives. New York: Quantuck Lane Press.
- John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Recipient in Photography, 2018.
- Finalist for the 2008 James and Audrey Foster Award, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 2008.
- Selected of the 100 top distinguished woman photographers of all times by Women in Photography International, 2007.
- In Her Image, Solo Exhibition, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 2017-2018
- In Her Image, Solo Exhibition, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 2018-2019
- She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, Traveling Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Carnegie Museum of Art, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, 2013 – 2019
- SHE, (solo exhibition) Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Galerie Tanit, Beirut, cIe Cotmeporary, Milan Italy, Robert Klein gallery, Boston, 2018, 2019
- Contemporary Muslim Fashions, De Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2018
- A Girl and Her Room, Newport Museum of Art, Newport, Rhode Island, 2018
- Invisible Children, Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany, 2018-2019
- Aftermath: The Fallout of War - America and The Middle East, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota FL, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
- Biennale des Photographes du Monde Arabe, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France, 2017
- Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, 2015-2016
- Bridge to Palestine, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, 2014
- The Middle East Revealed: A Female Perspective, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 2014
- Violence Transformed [Digital display and Exhibition], Traveling Exhibit in the Boston area, 2009.
- The Forgotten People [Exhibition], Koppelman Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, 2008.
- Women of Islam [Exhibition], Michigan Avenue Exhibitions, 2008.
- The Looking Glass [Group exhibit], Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh PA, 2007.
- The Veil [Solo exhibition], MIT Simmons Hall, Cambridge MA, 2006.
- A Forgotten Population [Solo exhibition], UNESCO palace, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005.
Awards and Distinctions
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Photography, 2018
- Semifinalist for the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
- Nomination Infinity Award 2019, International Center for Photography
- Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residence Grant, The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Spring 2017
- Selected by ArtNet one of 10 Remarkable Photographers to Discover at This Year's AIPAD Fair (2017)
- Nomination to Anonymous Was a Woman Award (AWAW), 2017, 2013, 2010
- Unspoken Conversations: Mothers and Daughters, Lens Culture Portrait Award finalist 2015
- Nomination for the St. Botolph Foundation Distinguished Artist Award, 2015
- Top 50 winner, Critical Mass, Photolucida 2015 (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
- The George Gund Foundation Annual Report 2011 Commission Award
- Legacy Award 2011, Griffin Museum of Photography
- Artist Grant Recipient in Photography from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, 2007, 2011