School of the Arts Faculty
Lois and Henry Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice and Distinguished Curator-in-Residence (2008)
B.A. Indiana University, M.A. Indiana University
Joseph Ketner has worked as a museum curator and director in both university and public museums, specializing in modern and contemporary art, as well as 19th-century American art, for the past 30 years. As the inaugural Foster Chair, Ketner teaches contemporary art history and curates experimental contemporary art exhibitions in Emerson's Huret and Spector Gallery. Recently, he has presented a new series of exhibitions there, titled The Next Generation, showing the work of the most talented graduate students from New England's art schools.
Previously, Ketner served as chief curator of the Milwaukee Art Museum, where he curated a collection of over 25,000 works of art and national touring exhibitions of such artists as Bruce Nauman and Andy Warhol. As the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Ketner curated what is considered New England's finest collection of modern and contemporary art. Ketner also served as curator and then director of the Washington University Gallery of Art (now the Mildred Kemper Museum of Art), in St. Louis, where he built the museum's program on its excellent collections of 19th century, modern, and contemporary works and curated award-winning exhibits that traveled internationally.
Ketner's exhibitions have been recognized in such periodicals as the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Artforum, and Flash Art, and they have received many critical distinctions. His publications, A Gallery of Modern Art (1994) and Catherine Wagner (1996), have won design awards from the American Association of Museums.