Founded in 2007, CCL has organized ten classes of fellows to date, training 110 curators who serve museums across the world. Each year CCL selects ten to twelve applicants representing a wide range of geographic, institutional, and art historical backgrounds.
Fellows become a unique cohort who undergo professional and personal growth together throughout the CCL experience and beyond. Our graduates add critical value to the vision and strategy of museums worldwide and form a network that fosters growth and collaboration.
Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Valerie Cassel Oliver is the senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Prior to her tenure at CAMH she was director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2000, she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
At the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston she has organized numerous exhibitions including Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003); the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (2007); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Imagewith Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft and a major retrospective on Benjamin Patterson entitled, Born in the State of Flux/us (both 2010); as well as the survey, Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein (2011). In 2012, she mounted the project, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, currently touring through 2015. In April of this year, she opened a major survey of drawings by Houston-based and internationally-recognized artist, Trenton Doyle Hancock entitled, Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones–20 Years of Drawing. The exhibition is slated to travel to Akron, Ohio for presentation September 2014.
Cassel Oliver has lectured widely and published extensively. In 2007, she received a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship for initial research for the exhibition on Benjamin Patterson and was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership in 2009. In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious David C. Driskell Award for her scholarly excellence and contribution to the field of African American art and culture. In 2012, her coorganized exhibition Cinema Remixed and Reloaded (CRR 2.0) earned the distinction of being the first exhibition project from the United States to be accepted as an official project of the Havana Biennale.
Chair of European Painting and Sculpture
Gloria Groom holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and graduate certificate from the Ecole du Louvre. Her monographic Edouard Vuillard: Painter-Decorator, was published by Yale University Press in 1993. At the Art Institute of Chicago, she has been involved as curator and author in major loan exhibitions on Gauguin, Redon, Caillebotte, Renoir, Manet, Vuillard, Bonnard, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, art dealer Ambroise Vollard and in 2012-13 Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity. Since 2009 she has been leading the project for the on-line collection catalogues (OSCI) of the Art Institute’s collection of paintings and works on paper for Monet and Renor (2014), Manet, Gauguin and Pissarro (2015). Current exhibition and book projects include Van Gogh’s Bedrooms (Chicago only) and Gauguin: Painter and Sculptor with the Musée d’Orsay. Dr. In 2005 Groom was conferred the award of Chevalier des arts et letters and Officier in 2013.
Douglas Dillon Chairman, Department of Asian Art
Maxwell K. Hearn is the Douglas Dillon Chairman of the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He began working at the Metropolitan Museum in 1971, helping oversee the expansion of the Met’s collection of Chinese art as well as major additions to its exhibition spaces, including the Astor Chinese Garden Court, the Douglas Dillon Galleries, and the renovated and expanded galleries for Chinese painting and calligraphy. He has worked on more than 50 exhibitions and has authored or contributed to numerous catalogues, many of which have become essential resources for the study of Chinese Art including How to Read Chinese Paintings (2008) and Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013). Mike, who received his undergraduate degree in art history from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Princeton, has also taught graduate and undergraduate seminars on Chinese painting at Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He has traveled extensively in Asia including Cambodia in 2013 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.
Former Executive Director
Robin Held is a creative strategist, executive leader, and cultural entrepreneur.
Held has a demonstrated record of success, strategic change, and value creation in not-for-profit arts and media education, museums, and the private sector. At the core of her accomplishments - built into her DNA - is the joy of deep engagement with artists.
As curator of more than 100 exhibitions and performances, producing partner, advisor to funders, grant writer, and executive, she has worked directly with artists to realize ambitious work in a wide range of media, from traditional to experimental, including painting, sculpture, film, video, performance, sound art, robotics, artificial intelligence, and digital media. Most recently, she has become a consultant to a select number of artists and organizations, whose innovation, entrepreneurship, and potential positive impact on society are too big to fit easily or well in separable categories of art, science, or new technology. From this vantage she guides creators to new resources, expertise and investment.
Held has strong international networks and deep experience at the forefront of public institutions, working with artists, staff, faculty, trustees, students and community stakeholders. She has led focused teams, who together have successfully transformed organizational cultureand infrastructure.
Her past institutional positions include Executive Director of Reel Girls, which educates, mentors and equips young women to create transformative media; Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, and Associate Curator at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington.
Held has published and lectured extensively on contemporary art and performance, and has established a reputation for creating innovative and compelling exhibitions of contemporary visual art, performance, film and new media. In 2013, she was honored with the Women's Funding Alliance Leah McCullough Legacy Leadership Award; in 2009 she was a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow, among other awards and recognitions.
Held earned a B.F.A., Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts, University of California at Los Angeles; Ph.D., ABD, in Art History, University of Washington; and a certificate of completion, Columbia University School of Business Executive Education Program.
Assistant Director/Chief Curator
Eik Kahng now serves as Assistant Director and Chief Curator at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She moved to Santa Barbara shortly after her hugely enlightening stint at the Center of Curatorial Leadership as a member of the Class of 2009. While she continues to originate and travel scholarly exhibitions, such as Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910-12 and most recently, Delacroix and the Matter of Finish, she is also deeply involved in the overall administration of her mid-sized institution. SBMA is in the late planning stages for a much needed renovation and Eik participates in weekly renovation meetings, dealing with everything from geothermal wells, architectural designs, and the city permitting process. Currently, she is facilitating a highly focused exhibition called The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shapes of Things to Come, guest curated by art historian, Joyce Tsai (UF, Gainesville) and oversees two support groups called The Dead Artists Society and D.A.S. ii. As often as possible, Kahng attempts to maintain contact with her CCL classmates on whom she continues to rely for guidance.
Kahng’s previous curatorial employment includes positions at the Kimbell Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Museum. Her curatorial formation owes much to the invaluable year she spent at the National Gallery of Art under the mentorship of the late Philip Conisbee as one of the first CAA Professional Development fellows back in 1994-95, and her developing understanding of museum administration has been impelled by the training she received through the CCL. She works closely with SBMA director, Larry J. Feinberg, whose administrative example she strives to emulate. Kahng graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1985 and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1996. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and has published and lectured widely with a particular emphasis on 18th- and 19th-century French painting and its critical reception.
The Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Assistant Director
Mary-Kay Lombino is The Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Assistant Director of Strategic Planning at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College where she oversees the contemporary art and photography collections, exhibitions, and publications. Prior to joining the staff at Vassar she served as Curator of Exhibitions at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach for six years and Assistant Curator at UCLA Hammer Museum for five years. Her exhibitions include The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (2013), Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film (2007); Off the Shelf: New Forms in Contemporary Artists’ Books (2006); Candida Höfer: The Architecture of Absence (2005); UnNaturally (2003), By Hand: Pattern Precision, and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing(2001). She has also organized solo shows for numerous artists including Marco Maggi, Eirik Johnson, Phil Collins, Ken Price, Euan Macdonald, Bob Knox, Alice Könitz, and Mungo Thomson.
Lombino’s 2013 publication The Polaroid Years (DelMonico Books/Prestel) recently won first place for Outstanding Catalogue from the Association of Art Museum Curators. In 2009, she was selected as one of ten fellows for the prestigious Center for Curatorial Leadership program, a six-month fellowship designed to train and support talented curators in realizing their potential for leadership in the field. Also in 2009 she was one of two recipients of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship. In 2006 she was one of ten recipients of the Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship. Lombino received a B.A. in Art History from University of Richmond, Virginia in 1989 and an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from University of Southern California in 1995.
Anne Vogt Fuller and Marion Titus Searle Chair and Curator of Prints and Drawings
Kevin Salatino was appointed Director of the Art Collections at The Huntington in September, 2012. Prior to that, from 2009–2012, he was Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. From 2001–2009, Kevin was Curator and Head of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and from 1991–2000 he was Curator of Graphic Arts at the Getty Research Institute. Kevin earned his AB from Columbia University and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught at Middlebury College and the University of Pennsylvania. He has lectured and published widely on subjects as diverse as fireworks (Incendiary Art: The Representation of Fireworks in Early Modern Europe, 1999, to be published in a revised French edition in 2014 as Feu d’Artifice et Pouvoir), Fra Angelico (the subject of his dissertation), the erotic drawings of Henry Fuseli, the Grand Tour, Goya, James Ensor, and George Bellows, among others. Recent publications include Edward Hopper’s Maine (2011), and William Wegman: Hello Nature (2012). In 2012, he delivered The Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture in the History of Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on the subject of “Edward Hopper and the Burden of (Un)Certainty.”
Since arriving at The Huntington, Kevin has overseen a number of exhibitions and initiatives, including the critically well-received Face to Face: Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance Painting, and the reinstallation and significant expansion of the American Art collections, which was accompanied by the first catalogue of The Huntington’s American art (American Made: Highlights from the Huntington Art Collections, 2014). A number of important acquisitions have been made and gifts received since Kevin’s arrival, including major works by George Bellows, Arthur Dove, Frank Lloyd Wright, Reginald Marsh, George Luks, and Tony Smith on the American side, and Henry Fuseli and Pierre-Jacques Volaire on the European side.
Department Head and Curator of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography, and the Department Head and Curator of Prints and Drawings
Britt Salvesen joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 2009 as curator and head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department. Previously, she was director and chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP), University of Arizona. She received her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and her PhD from the University of Chicago. She has chaired LACMA's Curatorial Forum and has initiated several cross-departmental projects and institutional collaborations. Her exhibitions at LACMA include Catherine Opie: Figure and Landscape (2010); Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings (2012); Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film; John Divola: As Far as I Could Get (2013); and See the Light: Photography, Perception, Cognition—The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection (2014). Current research is directed toward a Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective, in collaboration with the Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute (2016); and a survey of 3D photography and film, co-organized with the Art Institute of Chicago (2017).
Professor of Critical Studies
Rochelle Steiner is a Los Angeles-based curator, writer and professor of curatorial studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California, where she served as dean from 2010-12. She was previously Director of the Public Art Fund, New York (2006-9), Chief Curator of the Serpentine Gallery, London (2001-6), and Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1996-2001). Steiner has curated major exhibitions and large-scale public art projects in the US, Europe and Asia, including 6 Under 60, an exhibition about emerging international cities for the 2011 Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Olafur Eliasson’s The New York City Waterfalls (2008), and monographic exhibitions with John Currin, Ellsworth Kelly, Gabriel Orozco, Elizabeth Peyton, Cindy Sherman, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, among many others. Steiner received an MA and PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York.
Deputy Director & Chief Curator
Matthew Welch is Deputy Director & Chief Curator at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He received his B.A. in English and Art History from Trinity University in San Antonio (1980) and an M.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1995) in Asian Art History from the University of Kansas. He spent four years in the Department of Letters at Kyoto University, initially as a Fulbright Research Fellow. In his dissertation he examined the paintings and calligraphy of the Japanese Zen priest Toju Zenchu (alias Nantenbo) and their purpose within the monastic setting and lay community. Matthew has been at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts since 1990 and was previously Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Japanese and Korean Art. He has generated eleven exhibitions, four of which have toured nationally. He has authored six books and has contributed essays to several other publications. In 1998, he expanded the display of Japanese art at the museum from two to nine galleries, and in 2006 he unveiled six additional galleries—making the Japanese art display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts one of the largest in the country. In 1998, he also opened the first gallery devoted to Korean art at the museum. Since his appointment as Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs in February, 2008, he has revamped the museum's exhibition selection process and is presently examining the role of ancillary support groups to ensure that their activities are aligned with the museum's mission and that their contributions are recognized and celebrated.