Art historian and critic Sarah Lewis celebrates creativity and shows how it can lead us through fear and failure to ultimate success.

Why you should listen

Curator and critic Sarah Lewis has emerged as a cultural powerhouse for her fresh perspectives on the dialogue between culture, history, and identity. In 2010, she co-curated the groundbreaking SITE Santa Fe biennial, a platform celebrating artists melding the “homespun and the high-tech.” She has served on Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee, and as a curatorial advisor for Brooklyn’s high-profile Barclays Center. 

Her debut book The Rise analyzes the idea of failure, focusing on case studies that reveal how setbacks can become a tool enabling us to master our destinies. As she says: "The creative process is actually how we fashion our lives and follow other pursuits. Failure is not something that might be helpful; it actually is the process." —

What others say

“Sarah Lewis is applying her turbocharged intellect to bridging the gap between art and social policy.” — Vogue, May 2010

Sarah Lewis’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Sarah Lewis

Live from TED

How to embrace the near-win: Sarah Lewis at TED2014

March 21, 2014

Art historian Sarah Lewis’s first job was at the Museum of Modern Art. While there, she was entranced by an exhibit of works by the artist Elizabeth Murray. So Lewis was intrigued to hear from the painter that she felt several pieces hanging on the walls fell short. For one piece, Murray confessed that she’d found […]

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