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Biography

Helen Trompeteler is a curator and writer specializing in photography and lens-based arts. Her curatorial practice is centered on advocating for the civic role of museum collections and telling new narratives about underrepresented histories.

Helen has eighteen years of experience working with internationally significant art collections. At the National Portrait Gallery (2002-2016), Helen curated and co-curated over twenty exhibitions surveying historic and contemporary photography. These included Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon (2015), Snowdon: A Life in View (2014), and Man Ray Portraits (2013). As Senior Curator of Photographs at the Royal Collection (2016-2020), Helen was founding project manager and lead curator of Prince Albert: His Life and Legacy. This collaborative digitization project broadened access to the Royal Collection, Royal Archives, and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 by publishing over 17,500 artworks and records online for the first time.

Independent roles include board member of Four Corners (2017-present), the Museums Association Transformers leadership program (2018-2019), and the Josef Breitenbach Research Fellowship at the Center for Creative Photography (2016). Helen lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she writes on photography and advises selected artists and non-profit organizations.

Photograph: Marion Post Wolcott, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1941. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [LC-USF34-057833-D]