Camille Lawrence 2022-23 Mellon Fellow


Camille Lawrence (she/her) is an archivist, artist, curator, and the founder of Black Beauty Archives. Lawrence’s work focuses on the art history, innovations, and diversity of artistic expression across the African Diaspora. She is primarily interested in exploring and archiving identity formation throughout the African diaspora and culture through three foundational principles: oral, physical, and ritual. Lawrence’s background as an art historian, artist, and beauty practitioner informs her approach to archival work. Her projects include Black Beauty Archives and contributions to Urban Bush Women, BAM DanceAfrica, and Black Dance Stories.

On Juneteenth 2020, Lawrence founded Black Beauty Archives to document, preserve, and archive the history of Black Beauty culture. Lawrence’s professional makeup artist experience includes publications in VOGUE, Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles, The New York Times, and TV/Film with Apple, CNBC, Disney, ESPN, Hallmark, and Nike. In 2022, Black Beauty Archives was featured in Oprah Daily and mentioned on CNN and The Hollywood Reporter. Lawrence completed her BA in Art History and a minor in Global Black Studies from SUNY Purchase. She is completing her MLIS from CUNY Queens College and Beauty Essentials Certification from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

As part of her residency, Lawrence is curating and hosting “Agency + Process: #000000,” a series of virtual conversations celebrating individuals who are shaping the future of memory work, creating outside of traditional archival models.