News Press Release

SFMOMA Welcomes Corey Keller As New Assistant Curator Of Photography

Release date: November 10, 2003

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Corey Keller as assistant curator of photography. Keller started at the Museum in November 2003.

At SFMOMA, Keller will be coordinating the exhibition Larry Sultan: The Valley (May 8 through August 1, 2004) and will organize the San Francisco presentation of William Eggleston: Los Alamos (August 2004 to January 2005). She will be working extensively on the exhibition celebrating the acquisition of the Paul and Prentice Sack Trust, and she will organize Picturing Modernity, SFMOMA's ongoing presentation of its world-class photography collection. Keller will also coordinate a photography exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which will take place at SFMOMA in 2006.

Keller has been active at SFMOMA in a number of capacities since 1999. From June 2000 to March 2001 she served as interim curatorial associate in the Department of Photography, where she co-organized the exhibition Native to the Land: Photography of the North American Indian. In 1999 she served 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.

From October 1996 to September 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. From December 1994 to October 1996, Keller was senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York where she organized Ralph Gibson and assisted on exhibitions such as Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica and Nan Goldin: I'll be Your Mirror.

Keller is currently 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 has a bachelor's degree in American studies from Yale University and attended the Paris Photographic Institute from 1992 to 1994.

SFMOMA is distinguished as one of the first museums in the United States to recognize photography as an art form. SFMOMA has been committed to building a photography collection of national stature since it was founded in 1935, and its current collection is matched by few art museums in this country. SFMOMA's curators assert that, by definition, photography is a modernist art form; therefore it is the one area of the Museum's collection that extends back to the medium's invention in the mid-1800s. The collection is now more than twelve thousand photographs. It is renowned for its works by early modernist American and European masters, its images from the tradition of landscape photography in the western United States, and its overall engagement with the larger issues of what photography is, how it has evolved, and why it remains relevant.

Under the direction of Senior Curator of Photography Sandra S. Phillips, the photography exhibition program is exceptionally active. In the past few years alone, the department has organized such critically acclaimed exhibitions as Ansel Adams at 100, Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll, Stranger Passing: Collected Portraits by Joel Sternfeld, Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog, Police Pictures and most recently, Diane Arbus Revelations.

Media Contacts

  • Libby Garrison, 415.357.4177,
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  • Sandra Farish Sloan, 417.357.4174,


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction,  through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.

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