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Managing in All Directions for Mentors
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Managing in All Directions for Mentors

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM ET




Over the course of the any given day, senior curators must juggle many competing interests. Constantly managing up, down, and across our organizational charts, we also have to manage outside contractors and peers in our fields: artists, catalogue authors, consulting curators, and other creative types. As we move up the ladder, we occupy dual roles: while maintaining a specialized research focus within our own fields, we are expected to manage a broader portfolio of people and collection areas. In this webinar, Corey Keller, Curator of Photography at SFMOMA, and Toby Kemps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection, discuss the varied nature of curatorial work today as they share their perspectives on how to best meet institutional objectives while at the same time fostering their own creative work. Christina Nielsen, the William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection and Exhibition Program at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, moderates.

Presenters (listed alphabetically)

Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Menil Collection

Kamps has organized solo exhibitions of work by artists including Vanessa Beecroft, Ellsworth Kelly, Danny Lyon, Claes Oldenburg, Haim Steinbach, Luc Tuymans, H.C. Westermann,  Wols (Wolfgang Schulze), William N. Copley, and Torolab, a Tijuana design collective. He has organized numerous group exhibition and catalogue projects such as Silence, Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art, Space Is the Place, and, with a team, Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art. His exhibitions The Old, Weird America and From Baja to Bar Harbor, won best traveling exhibition nationally and best regional university gallery project awards from the U.S. and New England sections of the International Association of Art Critics, respectively. 

In previous curatorial positions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, the ICA at Maine College of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, he has served on leadership teams and committees, managed membership groups, and developed programs and partnerships with other organizations. A graduate of the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and the Getty Museum Leadership Institute, Kamps has written for exhibition catalogues, monographs, and magazines.

Corey Keller, Curator of Photography, SFMOMA

Keller's major exhibitions include the traveling retrospective Francesca Woodman (2011) and Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840–1900 (2008), which explored the use of photography in nineteenth-century science. She organized About Time: Photography in a Moment of Change, the inaugural photography collection presentation, for the museum’s reopening. Keller oversaw Picturing Modernity, SFMOMA’s presentation of its photography collection, from 2003 to 2013 and co-organized the symposium Is Photography Over? in 2010. She is the editor of several SFMOMA publications and the author of scholarly essays on Jay DeFeo, Eadweard Muybridge, Larry Sultan, and Carleton Watkins, among others. She is currently at work on an exhibition of the photographic maps of Sohei Nishino (November 2016) and the first survey of the nineteenth-century photographer J.B. Greene (spring 2018).


Christina Nielsen, moderator, William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Nielsen joined the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in April of 2014. At the Gardner, Christina leads cross-departmental activities that will give different audiences broader access to the Museum’s extraordinary collections of fine art, rare books, and archival items. These include plans for future exhibitions; the production of a new Guidebook for visitors (Yale University Press, 2017); a new museum website (spring 2017); and several upcoming exhibitions. She has consistently encouraged the rise of new multidisciplinary and collaborative initiatives that will leverage the Gardner’s unique assets to strengthen ties with existing audiences and reach out to new ones. Most recently, she curated Off The Wall: Gardner and her Masterpieces, an exhibition that showcased twenty-five of the Gardner’s most renowned paintings in a new light and told the stories behind their acquisition.

Before moving to Boston, Christina was at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she curated several major exhibitions, including Late Roman and Early Byzantine Treasures from the British Museum; Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus, and The Silk Road and Beyond: Travel, Trade, and Transformation. Christina’s positions in three separate curatorial departments at the Art Institute—European Decorative Arts, Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture, and Ancient and Byzantine Art—gave her multiple perspectives within one institution, and allowed her to work with a wide variety of colleagues and objects. She was elected by her curatorial peers to serve a two-year term as the President of the Art Institute’s Curatorial Forum from 2013-14.

She received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago, and has published on ancient and medieval art, and on the history of collecting medieval art in nineteenth to twentieth-century America. In addition to serving as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Christina has held research appointments and fellowships at the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The British Museum. She has taught art history courses at the University of Chicago, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Additionally, she has served on the board of the International Center for Medieval Art, and has been on several committees for the Association of Art Museum Curators.


AAMC's Webinar Program

AAMC offers webinars on essential skills, timely issues, and latest discoveries that define the profession of Art Curator and enhance understanding and development in the field, through online webinars, a medium that simultaneously reaches the organization's entire membership, regardless of location. As of October 2015, all webinars are free with a current membership. An archive of past webinars is also available to current members.

All of AAMC’s programming and overall efforts shall strive to be representative of diversity: across fields of expertise, types of institutional mission, regional position, and self-identifications (by nation, gender, creed, race) of participants. The more diverse our voices, the more dynamic our offerings.

For the 2015 - 2016 season, our webinars focus on the theme "How Art Curators Get Their Ideas Out There." The topics for the webinars have been selected based on this idea as it relates to exhibitions, scholarship, and the broader social context. 

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