I am pleased to share with you some very exciting recent developments and changes at the California African American Museum (CAAM).
First, I’m delighted that Naima J. Keith has joined CAAM and will serve as the Museum’s Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs. Naima’s background is impressive, and her interests include American and international contemporary art, with a particular focus on themes of identity and conceptual practices. During her five-year tenure at The Studio Museum in Harlem as Associate Curator, Naima curated several highly-regarded exhibitions including Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989, which also traveled to the Hammer Museum in 2015 and was nominated as “Best Monographic Museum Show in New York” by the International Association of Art Critics. As a curatorial fellow at the Hammer Museum, Naima worked closely with curator Kellie Jones in developing the critically acclaimed exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (2012), which appeared at the Hammer Museum as part of the Getty’s citywide exhibition initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 (also known as “PST”).
In February 2016, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., announced the following appointments to CAAM’s State Board of Directors:
Todd Hawkins remains as the President and Zna Portlock Houston continues to serve as Vice President of our State Board of Directors, along with Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray.
In the last issue of Museum Notes, I shared that CAAM was filing the application to become a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, and I’m pleased to announce that our application was accepted. This means that the Museum will now be able to expand its ability to collaborate with a variety of cultural heritage institutions across the United States. Again, I’d like to thank our colleagues at Sony Pictures Entertainment who generously donated the funds to sponsor CAAM’s application.
Now that spring is here, I do hope you’ll shed the doldrums of the winter season and get outdoors to enjoy the great weather. I also hope you’ll come by the Museum to view and experience our newest exhibitions. More on those can be found at our website, www.caamuseum.org. And stay abreast of CAAM news by making frequent visits to our Facebook and Twitter accounts (@CAAMinLA).
I look forward to running into you when you’re next at CAAM. In the meantime, be well.
George O. Davis, Executive Director
California African American Museum