Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s photo-based artwork is a striking blend of still and moving imagery. Her larger work draws on archival photographs to confront the colonial archive to re-examine its historical narrative legacies in both the US and South Asia.
Matthew's recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and sepiaEYE, NYC. Matthew has also exhibited her work at the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, MFA Boston, San Jose Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts (TX), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2018 Fotofest Biennial, 2009 Guangzhou Photo Biennial as well as at the Smithsonian. In addition, she has an upcoming solo show at the Newport Art Museum in 2021 on the Indian Soldiers from World War 2.

Grants and fellowships that have supported her work include a John Guttman, MacColl Johnson, two Fulbright Fellowships, and grants from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts. In addition, she has been an artist in residence at Yaddo, Woodstock Center for Photography, Lightwork, and MacDowell.

As Holland Cotter of the New York Times wrote about her 2016 solo exhibition at sepiaEYE in New York, “…The mostly album-size photographs in this compact but far-ranging gallery survey are about the intensities and confusions of a cultural mixing that makes the artist, psychologically, both a global citizen and an outsider, at home and in transit, wherever she is. And it’s about photography as document and fiction: souvenir, re-enactment, and imaginative projection. A beautiful show that could too easily slip away.”

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is a Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island. She was also the Director of the Center for the Humanities from 2014-2019 and the 2015-17 Silvia Chandley Professor in Peace Studies and Non-violence.


University of Rhode Island


Outside UK

Areas of Specialist Interest

  • Second World War and mid-20th Century (1929 – 1949)
  • British Empire and Commonwealth



  • Working with collections and archives
  • Exhibitions and Interpretation
  • Historical research
  • Artworks