Meet The Multi-Awarded Lebanese-American Photographer Rania Matar

Rania Matar

As a Lebanese-born American mother, Rania Matar moved to the United States in 1984 and has since then walked the path of photography, reaching a high level of fame in her field and scoring multiple awards.

Rania Matar’s photography reflects her culture, heritage, and personal narrative, as well as women’s empowerment.

Her work is an adventure to her personal and collective identity, focusing on female adolescence and womanhood in their environment.

Her photographs have attracted fans across the United States where her work has been exhibited in several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Her recent work, In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar, was exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, in a solo exhibition.

The Lebanese-American photographer was honored with several awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018, the Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant at the Gund Gallery of Kenyon College in 2017, and the Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2011.

In 2007, 2011, and 2021, she received the Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships. And also in 2008 when she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Rania Matar has also been listed on the Top 100 Distinguished Women Photographers, in Women in Photography International (2008), the Middle East Award Prize, Al Thani Photography Competition, and First Place in Women In Photography International in 2007.

Other than being a highly talented photographer, Rania Mattar also published three books, including L’enfant Femme in 2016, A Girl and Her Room in 2012, and Ordinary Lives in 2009.

Her most recent publications are in 2021: SHE with Radius Books and essays by Orin Zahra, and Mark Alice Durant.

She is currently an associate professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and she regularly hosts workshops, talks, and lectures at museums, galleries, and schools in the US.

Nowadays, she works between the United States and the Middle East, “to focus on notions of identity and individuality all within the context of the underlying universality of these experiences”, according to her website.

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