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AAMC Affiliated Session at CAA

Monday, December 21, 2015   (0 Comments)
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FEBRUARY 3, 2016

Curators on Paths to a Curatorial Art Museum Career

As museums evolve to embrace under-represented and new art forms, digital media, and expanded audiences, the role of the curator within the museum has also changed. Curators, the persons most responsible for collections, represent the backbone of their institutions’ strength. Traditionally curators acquired, studied, and interpreted works for the public within an accepted canon (antiquities, paintings, sculpture, etc.). Today, newer fields are recognized from tangible – Native American, photography – to intangible, performance art. More and more, independent curators collaborate with institutions without being on staff. This session will consider the relative merits of differing paths to becoming a curator in the museum world today from a traditional academic background, through museum and curatorial studies, to moving from a related field as it relates to the speakers’ experiences as curators.


Helen C. Evans, President, the Association of Art Museum Curators; Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Naima J. Keith, Associate Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem
Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Brian Sholis, Curator of Photography, Cincinnati Art Museum


Wednesday, February 3, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM


Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington 2, Exhibition Level


Please note, you must be registered for the CAA Conference in order to attend this session.



Helen C. Evans, President, the Association of Art Museum Curators; Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Helen Evans, president of the AAMC, is the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A graduate of Tulane University with her PhD from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, she held fellowships at the Museum before becoming as assistant curator in1991. Her three major exhibitions on Byzantium have been declared an exhibition of the year by theNYTimes,Apollo Magazine, and/orThe WSJ.One won the Barr Award from the CAA and ARLIS/NA; another, the Iranian Ministry of Culture’s World Book Award. She installed the Museum’s Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Byzantine Art in 2000, the first permanent galleries for Byzantine art in a major international museum, and their further expansion in 2008. She has advised on museum projects in Bulgaria and Georgia, mentored interns, and taught at various universities.


Naima J. Keith, Associate Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem
Naima J. Keith is an Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem and is responsible for organizing exhibitions and publications. Since joining the Studio Museum in 2011, she has organized several comprehensive solo museum exhibitions, includingEverything, Everyday, Artists in Residence 2014 - 15(2015),Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound(2015),Kianja Strobert(2014),Titus Kaphar(2014), Charles Gaines(2014),Glenn Kaino(2014) andRobert Pruitt(2013). Her historical survey, Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974 – 1989(2014), traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA spring 2015 (February 7 - May 24, 2015) and was nominated for a "Best Monographic Museum Show in New York" award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA). She has also organized acclaimed group exhibitions includingThe Shadows Took Shape(co-curated with Zoe Whitley, 2013),Fore(co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas J. Lax, 2012),Caribbean: Crossroads of the World(Institutional Curator, 2012),Collected. Ritual(2011) and John Outterbridge: The Rag Factory II(2011). She comes to the Studio Museum from a position as Curatorial Fellow at the Hammer Museum, where she worked closely with guest curator Prof. Kellie Jones on the critically acclaimed exhibitionNow Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980(2011). Keith received a BA from Spelman College and an MA in art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has lectured widely, including presentations at the Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; The Sterling And Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY. Her essays have been featured in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Hammer Museum, LAXART, Pomona College of Art, MoMA PS1 and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Keith has also taught at Loyola Marymount University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Santa Barbara and University of Missouri.
Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, joined the staff of the Department of Asian Art in 2003, and is responsible for the Korean art collection, programs, and gallery. She has organized major international loan exhibitions with accompanying catalogues, including Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom (2013; co-curated with Denise Patry Leidy) and Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400–1600 (2009), as well as shows focusing on the permanent collection such as Korea: 100 Years of Collecting at the Met (2015). She has published and lectured on a wide range of topics in East Asian art. Soyoung holds a PhD from Columbia University, with a dissertation on the relationship between Korean and Japanese ceramics from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries.


Brian Sholis, Curator of Photography, Cincinnati Art Museum
Brian Sholis is Curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum. He has worked as a curator, writer, and editor both independently and at such organizations asArtforumand Aperture Foundation. His writing on photography and contemporary art has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and inArtforum,Frieze,Aperture,Art in America, and other periodicals. Sholis received his B.A. from Boston University and an M.A. in American History from the CUNY Graduate Center.


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