Leesa Fanning is former Curator of Contemporary Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum. While there (1998-2018) she curated Janet Cardiff: Forty-Part Motet, Nick Cave: Property, Philip Haas’ The Four Seasons, Bill Viola’s The Raft, OpenEnded Group and Bill T. Jones’ After Ghostcatching, Cao Fei’s RMB City Opera, Wolfgang Laib: Without Place—Without Time—Without Body,Siah Armajani: Dialogue with Democracy,Tapping Currents: Contemporary African Art and the Diaspora,Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Vanishing Sky,and Shirin Neshat: Turbulent. She also served as venue curator for Impressions & Improvisations: The Prints of Romare Bearden,Through African Eyes, and George Segal: Street Scenes. Fanning authored two essays in and edited a major volume called Encountering the Spiritual in Contemporary Art(2018), a 312-page book published by Yale University Press and The Nelson-Atkins Museum. She has lectured widely on the topic. Fanning’s dissertation was Abstract Expressionism and the Body: Philosophical and Cultural Interpretations, and she holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Kansas. She has taught art history classes on African art and contemporary art at The University of Kansas, The University of Missouri, and The Kansas City Art Institute. Today, as independent curator, Fanning is lecturing, researching, writing, and working with several artists to develop survey exhibitions of their art.