Sally Stein is art historian and independent curator. Her field of research is the history of photography with particular interest in American photography of the New Deal era. Feminist issues and methodology consistently inform her efforts toward an interdisciplinary critical perspective. Along with essays on diverse aspects of twentieth-century documentary photography and mass media, Stein co-authored and co-curated Official Images: New Deal Photography (Smithsonian, 1988), and Montage and Modern Life (ICA/MIT, 1992).
Monographic essays include studies of FSA photographers Marion Post Wolcott, Dorothea Lange, Jack Delano as well as a co-authored book on Rondal Partridge.
The book manuscript she is revising from her doctoral dissertation, The Rhetoric of the Colorful and the Colorless: American Photography and Material Culture between the Wars, extends this research on interwar America. She is also at work on a volume of essays on the photography of Dorothea Lange, the first of which, "Peculiar Grace: Dorothea Lange and the Testimony of the Body," was published in Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life (Smithsonian, 1994).