Houstonians may remember Kelly Baum from her stint as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston a dozen or so years ago. Austinites will know her from her five years as assistant curator at the Blanton Museum of Art.
For those who don’t know the ins and outs of climbing the curatorial ladder, the leap from curatorial assistant to assistant curator is a huge one (which many never make). A curatorial assistant is the first rung on the ladder, but is usually a glorified and grossly underpaid secretary; assistant curator is the position that allows one to be called a Curator.
In December 2007, Baum moved on to become the Princeton University Art Museum’s Locks Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Art, where they eventually created a new position and appointed Baum as the first Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Baum, who holds a Ph.D and M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware, organized numerous award-winning exhibitions while at Princeton.
While Baum has shown her curatorial chops over the years, the rise to curator of the department of post-war and contemporary art at the Met (!) is pretty darn fast and pretty phenomenal. Congratulations to Kelly!