LOS ANGELES, CA- The California African American Museum (CAAM) is pleased to announce Naima J. Keith as their new deputy director for exhibitions and programs. Keith joins the Museum after having served for nearly five years at The Studio Museum in Harlem. She comes to CAAM as the first senior staff member hired by CAAM’s Executive Director George Davis following his recent appointment. Keith will oversee CAAM’s art, history and education programs. She will also continue to curate exhibitions.
“I am trilled to have Naima join CAAM’s management team as she brings a solid reputation that is well recognized in the art world, in addition to being a Los Angeles native,” says CAAM’s Executive Director George Davis. “With Naima as our Deputy Director, we can count on a cutting-edge future that charts a new path for our Museum. The energy and creativity that she will bring to the programs and exhibitions we offer will be a valued asset to our institution and Los Angeles.”
Prior to joining CAAM, Keith served as associate curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. During her tenure at the Studio Museum, Keith organized several critically acclaimed exhibitions, including Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound, Kianja Strobert: Of This Day in Time, Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project, Glenn Kaino:19.83, Robert Pruitt: Women, The Shadows Took Shape (co-curated with Zoe Whitley) and Fore (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas Lax) among many others. Her exhibition Charles Gaines Gridwork 1974-1989 traveled to the Hammer Museum and was nominated for a “Best Monographic Museum Show in New York,” award by the International Association of Art Critics. Her final exhibition for the Studio Museum, Views of Main Street, opens spring 2016 and will be the first major New York solo museum exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian. Additionally, Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street will be accompanied by a full-color scholarly publication titled Rodney McMillian, co-edited by Keith and Anthony Elms, Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
“I am delighted to join George Davis in leading this nationally recognized and essential cultural institution,” says Keith. “As a native Angeleno, I have long admired the California African American Museum, and now it will be exciting to play a pivotal role in its continued growth.”
Keith has lectured for leading arts and culture institutions including the Zoma Contemporary Art Center located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for the Studio Museum, Hammer Museum, LAXART, MoMA PS1, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, among many others.
Keith received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Spelman University and a Masters of Arts in history from the UCLA.