headshot.jpeg

Professional Bio

Naima J. Keith joined the California African American Museum (CAAM) in 2016 to guide the curatorial and education departments as well as marketing and communications. During her tenure at CAAM, Keith has also curated several exhibitions, including Hank Willis Thomas: Black Righteous Space (2016), Genevieve Gaignard: Smell the Roses (2016) Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced (2017) and Gary Simmons: Fade to Black (2017–8). She was the 2017 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize in recognition of her contributions to the field of African American art history, and is co-artistic director of Prospect.5 in New Orleans in 2020.

Previously an associate curator at theStudio Museum in Harlem (2011–16),her notable exhibitions include: Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street (2016), Artists in Residence 20142015 (2015), Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound (2015), Titus Kaphar (2014), Glenn Kaino (2014), and Robert Pruitt (2013), TheShadows Took Shape (co-curated with Zoe Whitley, 2013), Fore (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas J. Lax, 2012). Her historical survey, Charles Gaines: Gridwork 19741989 (2014), traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA spring 2015 and was nominated in 2014 for a "Best Monographic Museum Show in New York" award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA). Between 2008– 11, Keith worked as a curatorial fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, serving as the primary contact for the groundbreaking exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 19601980, organized by guest curator Kellie Jones. She has lectured at the Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Columbia University, The Museum of Modern Art, LACMA, USC, MCA Denver, and Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, LAXART, MoMA PS1, and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Keith holds degrees from Spelman College and UCLA and is a proud native of Los Angeles.