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#5 Inequalities in the Art World, with Ian Alteveer and Naima Keith


Photo credit: Colin Miller

Art Agency, Partners
#5 Inequalities in the Art World, with Ian Alteveer and Naima Keith

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

For the fifth episode of “In Other Words”, we welcome Ian Alteveer, an associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Allan Schwartzman, the co-founder of AAP and chairman, Sotheby’s Fine Arts Division; and Naima Keith, the deputy director of exhibits and programs at the California African American Museum, who joins us on the phone from Los Angeles.

Together with host Charlotte Burns, senior editor at AAP, they will be discussing inequalities in the art world. 

“In Other Words” is a presentation of AAP and Sotheby’s, produced by

For a full transcript, click here


Naima Keith

vice president of education and public programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Naima Keith, recently appointed Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has been the deputy director of exhibitions and programs at the California African American Museum (CAAM) since February 2016. She is being awarded with the High Museum of Art David C. Driskell prize in African American art and art history later this month.

Previously, Keith served as an associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem from 2011 to 2016, where she curated numerous art exhibitions including “Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989” in 2015. Between 2008 and 2011, Keith was the curatorial fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Currently on show at Caam is an exhibition Keith organized, “Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced”, which addresses missing black women in America and the African diaspora (until 25 June).


Ian Alteveer

curator of Modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum

Ian Alteveer is the Aaron I. Fleischman curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s department of Modern and contemporary Art. He organized “Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space” as well as the recent smash-hit retrospective “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry”, which traveled to LA Moca. He was in charge of the 2015 Roof Garden Commission by Pierre Huyghe and was part of the curatorial team for “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” in 2012.

Alteveer also curated “Once Upon a Time and Now”, an exhibition celebrating the reopening of the New York LGBT Community Center in 2015.

Before working at the Met, Alteveer was a graduate curatorial fellow and curatorial assistant at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

Allan Schwartzman

Allan Schwartzman was a Founder and Principal of AAP. He brought to the company more than 20 years’ experience in advising some of the world’s most influential and sophisticated collectors in forming their holdings of contemporary art, both individually and in conjunction with their stewardship of major museums.

Schwartzman is also widely respected as an independent curator, most notably for Instituto Inhotim, the visionary contemporary art park set within a 5,000-acre botanical garden in Brazil. As creative director and chief curator of Inhotim, he has been central to developing the collection of the renowned institution and commissioning its signature site-specific works by artists including Chris Burden, Giuseppe Penone, Matthew Barney, Doris Salcedo, Doug Aitken, Rivane Neuenschwander, Olafur Eliasson and Rirkrit Tiravanija, including projects that could not have been realized anywhere else.

Known equally as a tastemaker in contemporary art and an authority on the art market, Schwartzman is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Art Basel and notable events around the world.

Schwartzman was a founding staff member of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and served as curator from 1977 to 1980. He has written extensively about art for publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Artforum and Art in America and was a contributing editor of Connoisseur. He served as a board member of Franklin Furnace from 1980 to 2000 and currently serves on the Board of Artists Space, one of New York’s premier alternative spaces, having also served as the board’s president.

The live record

Behind the Scenes: Inequality with Naima Keith and Ian Alteveer

9 Images


By Pablo Helguera

For more reading on diversity and museums:

“New York Arts organizations lack the diversity of their city” in the New York Times, January 2016

“The really white cube: New York’s culture groups less diverse than they think” in The Art Newspaper, January 2016

“Pressure mounts for US museums to increase diversity at the top” in The Art Newspaper, August 2016

For more on the Whitney Biennial:

The exhibition page, here

“Censorship, not the painting, must go: On Dana Schutz’s image of Emmett Till” in Hyperallergic by Coco Fusco

For more by Naima Keith:

“Naima Keith & the California African American Museum”, LA Review of Books, March 2016

“Artist’s Voice: Charles Gaines in Conversation with Naima J. Keith”, the Studio Museum in Harlem, July 2016

For more by Ian Alteveer:

“Diversity in practice: a conversation between Ian Alteveer and Amanda Hunt, an associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem”, May 2016

“Looking at images that are hard to see”, a 2015 TedxMet talk

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