Sunday, February 7, 2016

APPOINTED: Harlem's Studio Museum curator Naima J. Keith named California African American Museum deputy director

Naima J. Keith photographed December 12, 2012. Photo from BlackArtistNews archive.

Text | Carolina A. Miranda for The Los Angeles Times
Published | February 4, 2016

Curator Naima J. Keith, who for five years helped organize lauded exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, has been named the new deputy director for exhibitions and programs at the California African American Museum  in Los Angeles' Exposition Park. The move brings a nationally recognized curator to the institution, which organizes artistic and historical exhibitions related to African American life in California and beyond.

"She was the top candidate," says the museum's executive director George Davis. "She was so impressive. And I really feel that the California African American Museum will have a great vision as a result of her presence."

In her time at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Keith curated the traveling exhibition"Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989," the first museum survey devoted to the early works of the L.A.-based abstractionist, which opened at the Hammer Museum early last year.

The show received a nomination for “Best Monographic Museum Show in New York" by the International Assn. of Art Critics — competing against exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Moroever, she organized "Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street," scheduled to open at the Studio Museum in March, the first major solo museum exhibition devoted to the work of the Los Angeles sculptor and installation artist.

Keith's hire brings a ray of good news to CAAM, a small, largely state-funded institution that had been without a director for roughly a year since long-time director Charmaine Jefferson stepped down in July of 2014.

Read complete story here.

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