February 2, 1010
LOS ANGELES—David Bomford, acting director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, announced today the appointment of Judith Keller to the position of Senior Curator of Photographs at the Getty Museum. Keller, who joined the Museum in 1986, has been acting head of the department since January 2009, following the retirement of the department’s founding curator Weston Naef. She will assume her new position effective immediately.
In making the announcement, Bomford said “During the extensive search process, Judy was always a candidate for the position. After much consideration and seeing the admirable manner in which she has led the department for the past year, it became clear that she would be the ideal person to take the department into the future. We look forward to seeing continued great things from Judy in her new official role.”
Since joining the Getty as associate curator, Keller has undertaken more than 20 exhibitions, including William Eggleston and the Color Tradition (1999), Strange Days: Photographs by Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston, and Diane Arbus (2003), and The Goat’s Dance: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide (2007). She was also responsible for the 2006 exhibition Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection which inaugurated the Getty’s Center for Photographs.
At the Getty, Keller has been responsible for over ten publications, including the Museum’s collection catalogue Walker Evans: The Getty Museum Collection (1995) and, most recently, Jo Ann Callis: Woman Twirling (2009).
Along with Naef, she spearheaded the formation of the Museum’s Photographs Council which now numbers 26 members who support the department’s acquisition efforts.
Keller was promoted to Curator of Photographs in 2008. In that capacity, she has led the department’s efforts to expand the collection to include photographs from East Asia. Over the course of the past year, the department’s holdings have grown to include work by artists from China, Japan, and Korea. Additionally, under her leadership as Acting Senior Curator, the department has had one of its most successful years with regards to donations, adding over 900 donated works to the collection in the last year.
”I am honored to take on the responsibility of leading one of the best departments of photography in the world,” said Keller. “The outstanding collection and staff of the Getty’s Department of Photographs make the potential for future exhibitions and publications nearly boundless. I look forward to exploiting this bounty through the roster of seven diverse shows that we will open in 2010 and the development of original exhibitions in the future.”
Keller received her B.A. in Art History and a Masters in Museum Practice and Art History from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She also completed course work for a Phd. in Art History at the University of Michigan. Prior to her tenure at the Getty, Keller worked at The University of Michigan Museum of Art (1979 – 1981) and at the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery (now the Blanton Museum of Art) at The University of Texas, Austin, as Curator of Prints and Drawings.
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