Staff Profile


Corey Keller, Curator of Photography

Corey Keller is the curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). She joined the museum in 1999 and held a number of positions before she was promoted to her current role in 2012. At SFMOMA, Keller organized the critically acclaimed exhibition Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840-1900 (2008), which explored the use of photography in 19th-century science, considering in particular the representation of phenomena invisible to the naked eye. Accompanied by an award-winning catalogue, the show traveled to the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria. With SFMOMA curators Janet Bishop and Sarah Roberts, Keller co-organized the large-scale exhibition celebrating the museum's 75th anniversary in 2010 as well as its accompanying major catalogue. She was instrumental in organizing the much discussed symposium "Is Photography Over?" (2010) and also participated as a panelist. Other exhibitions that Keller has curated include Henry Wessel (2006) and 1906 Earthquake: A Disaster in Pictures (2006). She also coordinated the San Francisco presentations of William Eggleston: Los Alamos (2005); Looking In: Robert Frank and "The Americans" (2009); and Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century (2010), among others. She oversees Picturing Modernity, SFMOMA's ongoing presentation of its world-class photography collection.

Most recently, Keller organized the major retrospective exhibition of photographer Francesca Woodman (2011), which traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2012. In addition to her SFMOMA publications, Keller has contributed scholarly essays to the exhibition catalogues Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change (Corcoran Gallery of Art, 2010) and Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012). She oversaw SFMOMA's presentation — the premiering venue — of the Jay DeFeo retrospective, which opened in November 2012.

Keller has been active at SFMOMA in a number of capacities. Prior to her current role, she was an associate curator in the museum's photography department as well as an assistant curator. She also previously served as interim curatorial associate, co-organizing the exhibition Native to the Land: Photography of the North American Indian (2001), and as curatorial research intern, cataloguing the Paul and Prentice Sack Photographic Trust. Keller has also frequently lectured on photography as part of SFMOMA's educational program and has taught at Stanford University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California College of the Arts.

From 1996 to 1998, Keller served as curatorial assistant in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she organized the exhibition Object & Abstraction: Contemporary Photographs (1997). From 1994 to 1996, Keller was senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York where she organized Ralph Gibson (1996) and assisted on exhibitions such as Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica (1995) and Nan Goldin: I'll be Your Mirror (1996).

Keller was a doctoral candidate in art history at Stanford University. Her dissertation is entitled The Look of Knowledge: Photographic Imagery and the Discourse of Science, 1839-1895. She received her master's degree in art history from Stanford in 2001. She holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from Yale University and attended Spéos (Paris Photographic Institute) from 1992 to 1994.