About Leila Hamdan


Leila Hamdan is an independent scholar, organizer and historian whose specialization is in visual art and culture of Africa and the African Diaspora, as well as Museum Studies. Metal arts, specifically American blacksmithing and iron casting, also are one of her great interests. Ms. Hamdan’s most recent projects focus on the culture and history of Shia Muslims in South Lebanon.

In 2014 to 2015, Ms. Hamdan was employed as the Registrar for the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee where she worked within the Education and Interpretation Department.

In 2012, she began researching African American art and visual culture theory under Dr. Earnestine Jenkins for her master’s degree from the University of Memphis, while simultaneously completing a graduate program for Museum Studies certification under Dr. Robert Connolly.

Ms. Hamdan holds a Master of Arts in the Arts of Africa and African Diaspora, a Museum Studies Certificate, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Her most recent curated exhibition, Culture and Resistance: Civil Rights Photography, Memphis 1968, was on tour from 2014 to 2015 and was shown at several locations in Memphis including the Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art, Art Museum at University of Memphis, National Civil Rights Museum, Caritas Village, and C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa. The research and photography exhibition is now part of the permanent collection of both the Special Collections at University of Memphis and the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Prior to resuming her education and current position at the National Civil Rights Museum, Ms. Hamdan worked as the National Ornamental Metal Museum’s Collections Manager and Registrar for six years. During this time, she organized approximately thirty exhibitions and acquired major works of art for the permanent collection, such as objects by Gene and Hiroko Pijanowski and the late L. Brent Kington. Her service cataloging the museum’s entire library, which houses one of the largest and oldest collections of its kind, was her primary achievement.

You can contact Ms. Hamdan at leila.i.hamdan@gmail.com



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