Joseph D. Ketner II is the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice at Emerson College, Boston. He also holds the position of distinguished Curator-in-Residence. His professional expertise is as a curator and art historian specializing in European and American Modern and Contemporary Art, and nineteenth-century African-American art. Click on his photo portrait to read his biography and resume.
Over the past five years I have curated several exhibitions and published a number of books on Andy Warhol.
For the past seven years the focus of my new research has been on post-WWII European art, particularly the German Group Zero.
Since my graduate studies I have been intrigued by the work of my great-uncle Alexander Dorner, who as director of the Provincial Museum in Hannover, Germany, worked with Walter Gropius, El Lissitzky, Kasimir Malevich, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. He promoted modern art and introduced innovative museum display techniques that influence museums and galleries up to the present.
Based on my graduate studies and my subsequent publication of the biographical monograph on Robert S. Duncanson (University of Missouri, 1993), I have accumulated a significant body of information on the antebellum era African American landscape painter Duncanson and nineteenth-century African American art.
Bruce Nauman is one of the post-WWII artists at the forefront of creating a cross-media artistic vocabulary. I have produced two exhibitions and a publication on the artist’s work that grapple with the questions of media and communication in his work.
Carl F. Wimar was the last painter to depict the plains Indians in the western United States before the settlement of the trans-Mississippi west. His images are rare and important documents of a fleeting era.
I have been honored by Emerson College as the Foster Chair in Contemporary Art and the Distinguished Curator-in-Residence. In this capacity I curate exhibitions and public arts projects in Boston and across the United States and Europe.
Over thirty years I have organized many exhibitions for the institutions that employed me and as an independent curator. Click on this image to see a selected history of my exhibition programming.
In conjunction with my many exhibitions and independent of them, I have published catalogues, monographs, and essays on the artists whom I have studied and with whom I have worked.
At each of the museums for which I have worked, I have developed acquisitions programs tailored to that institution’s existing collections, audience, and the salient art of that particular moment in time. Over the decades of my involvement with the visual arts, I have acquired a considerable number of art works. Please click on this image to see a selected list of my art acquisitions.
Throughout my museum career I have participated in building physical facilities for art museums. I have worked with internationally recognized architects Shigeru Ban, Graham Gund, Fumiko Maki, and Walter Netsch. Click on this image to see my architectural projects.