Maurice Berger is a cultural historian, art critic, and curator. He is Research Professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Senior Fellow at The Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School. A student of the pioneering theoretical art historian, Rosalind E. Krauss, he completed a B.A. at Hunter College and Ph.D. in art history and critical theory at the City University of New York. He then turned his attention to race. One of the few white kids in his low-income housing project on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Berger grew up hyper-sensitized to race. Due to his experiences, he looked beyond the world of "critical theory" to address the relevance of visual culture, and especially images of race, to everyday life.
Berger engages the issues of racism, whiteness, and contemporary race relations and their connection to visual culture in the United States. His study on institutional racism--"Are Art Museums Racist?"--appeared in Art in America. Berger has also curated a number of race-related exhibitions, including For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights--a joint venture of the National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution and the Center for Art, Design & Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This exhibition examines the role played by visual images in shaping, influencing, and transforming the modern struggle for racial equality and justice in the United States.   It opened at International Center of Photography in New York in May 2010 and travels to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in the summer of 2011 before moving on to other venues and then CADVC.
Berger is Political Director of PollTrack, a website that tracks "American elections and social and cultural issues from the perspective of where it matters most: with voters on the ground." 
Berger is the author of eleven books on the subject of American art, culture, and the politics of race. His memoir, White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999) was one of the earliest books to introduce the idea of "whiteness" as a racial concept to a more general audience.   The book was a finalist for the Horace Mann Bond Book Award of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University and received an honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award of Boston University School of Social Work. Other books include: Masterworks of the Jewish Museum (Yale, 2004); The Crisis of Criticism (The New Press, 1998); Constructing Masculinity (Routledge, 1995); Modern Art and Society (HarperCollins, 1994); How Art Becomes History (HarperCollins, 1992); Labyrinths: Robert Morris, Minimalism, and the 1960s (Harper & Row, 1989). Berger’s writing on art, film, television, theater, law, and the politics of race have appeared in many journals and newspapers, including Artforum, Art in America, New York Times , Village Voice, October, Wired, and Los Angeles Times . He has also contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogs and anthologies.
Berger's exhibitions on race and culture include retrospectives of the artists Adrian Piper (1999) and Fred Wilson (2001), both traveling extensively in the United States and Canada. In 2003, he organized White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art, which featured the work of Cindy Sherman, Nayland Blake, William Kentridge, Gary Simmons, Paul McCarthy, Nikki S. Lee, Andrea Robbins & Max Becher, and Mike Kelley, among others.  In addition to his work on race, Berger has advocated for more aggressive educational outreach and broader cultural and social context for high art in museums, creating complex, multi-media "context stations" for numerous exhibitions, including Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976, Jewish Museum (2008)  and Black Male: Representations of Masculinity, 1968-1994 (1994) and The American Century: Art & Culture, 1950-2000, (1999), both at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Additionally, he was the curator of Hands and Minds: The Art and Writing of Young People in 20th-Century America, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1998), an exhibition, and a catalog with a preface by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the importance of arts education that traveled across the United States.
“Falling Into Place,” in Andrea Robbins and Max Becher: The Transportation of Place (Aperture, 2006); “Secrets and Lies,” in Jenny Holzer: Truth Before Power (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2004); “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” in Alexis Rockman: “Manifest Destiny” (The Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2004); The Value of Things Not Said: Some Thoughts on Interracial Friendship,” in Emily Bernard, ed., Some of My Best Friends: Writings on Interracial Friendships (HarperCollins, 2004); “Epilogue: The Modigliani Myth,” in Mason Klein, ed., Modigliani: Beyond the Myth (Yale, 2004); “The Cat Upstairs,” (on Sammy Davis, Jr.) in Entertaining America: Jews in the Media (Princeton, 2003); “Introduction: Gravity’s Rainbow,” in Adam Weinberg and Hendel Teicher, eds., Trisha Brown: Dance and Art in Dialogue, 1965-2000 (MIT Press, 2002); “The Image Under Erasure,” in Thelma Golden, ed., Gary Simmons (Studio Museum in Harlem and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 2002); “Andy Warhol’s ‘Pleasure Principle,” in Jonathan Binstock, Andy Warhol: Social Observer (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 2000); “Theater: A Pitiless Mirror Where Audiences See Themselves” (on Rebecca Gilman’s Spinning into Butter), The New York Times (23 July 2000), Arts & Leisure Section, pp. 5, 10; and “Look in the Mirror for Racial Attitudes,” Los Angeles Times (26 February 1999), p. B7.
Roediger, David. “Books: White Lies” (review), Village Voice (23 February 1999), p. 125 
Jefferson, Margo. “On Defining Race, When Only Thinking Makes It So,” The New York Times (22 March 1999), p. E2 
Lee, Felicia. “Facing Down His Color as a Path to Privilege,” The New York Times (5 May 1999), pp. E1, 10; reprinted as “A Writer Confronts His Color as A Path to Privilege,” in The International Herald Tribune (6 May 1999) 
Cotter, Holland. "A Canvas of Concerns: Race, Racism and Class," The New York Times(24 December 1999)
Hayt, Elizabeth, “Items Found on the Internet Dress Up an Art Exhibition, The New York Times (7 October 1999), p. C3. 
Williams, Patricia. “Remembering in Black and White,” The Nation (February 28, 2000), p. 9. 
Dawson, Jessica, "The Darkness of White," Washington Post (4 December 2003), p. C1 
Holland Cotter, “Pumping Air into the Museum So It’s As Big As The World Outside,” The New York Times (30 April 2004), p. E1 
Jefferson, Margo. “Playing on Black and White: Racial Messages Through a Camera Lens,” The New York Times (5 January 2005), p. E1 
Smith, Roberta. "Rivalry Played Out on Canvas and Page," The New York Times (2 May 2008), p. E1. 
Patricia J. Williams. "The Buzz Board: PollTrack," The Daily Beast (25 January 2009) 
Cotter, Holland. "Images That Steered a Drive for Freedom," The New York Times(21 May 2010), p. E1 
 "The Power of Pictures in the Struggle for Civil Rights," profile of For All the World to See on NPR Weekend Edition, 1 August 2010
 Curator tour of For All the World to See on PBS Sunday Arts
 Official Website of For All the World to See
 Excerpt: White Lies - Race and the Myths of Whiteness] by Maurice Berger, published January 1, 1999 in The Multiracial Activist
 Online version of exhibition, "White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art" with audio by curator Maurice Berger on Newsweek/MSNBC website
 Interview with Maurice Berger, "Taking on Skin Color, Art and Politics in "White," NPR