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Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography welcome Audrey Sands as new photography curator
Sands joins the Museum and CCP after recently completing a Chester Dale Fellowship in the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.



PHOENIX, AZ.- Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography announce Audrey Sands, Ph.D., as the new jointly-appointed Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography. Sands will divide her time between the two institutions, working with CCP’s world-renowned collections to curate exhibitions that will be presented in the Museum’s Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography. She began her role with CCP on August 26, 2019, and her first day at the Museum will be September 23, 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome Audrey Sands to Phoenix Art Museum,” said Gilbert Vicario, the Museum’s Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and the Selig Family Chief Curator. “The Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography position is integral to our valued and longstanding partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, and with her significant experience working in curatorial photography departments at internationally renowned institutions, Sands will bring invaluable expertise and creative vision to the Museum’s photography exhibitions.”

“Audrey brings a high level of expertise and fresh perspective to our collaborative work with the Phoenix Art Museum, and I am extremely pleased she is part of our robust curatorial team,” said Anne Breckenridge Barrett, Director of the Center for Creative Photography and Associate Vice President for the Arts at the University of Arizona. “Her appointment signals the Center’s dedication to the ongoing and vital partnership with the Phoenix Art Museum and our continued commitment to bring exceptional exhibitions to the Phoenix community and beyond.”

In 2006, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Norton III donated funds to create the Museum’s Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography and established a curatorial endowment to fund the Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography. That same year, CCP and Phoenix Art Museum began an innovative collaboration to bring vibrant photography exhibitions, featuring works from the Center’s unparalleled collections, to new and larger audiences. Founded in 1975 by renowned photographer Ansel Adams and Dr. John Schaefer, then-president of the University of Arizona, CCP is the premier research collection of American photographic fine art and archives. The institutions together represent two artistic powerhouses in the state and the nearly 40 resulting exhibitions have allowed local, regional, and national audiences access to some of the most important photography of the 20th century. Sands is the second curator to hold the position, following Rebecca A. Senf, Ph.D, who now serves as the CCP’s Chief Curator.

Sands joins the Museum and CCP after recently completing a Chester Dale Fellowship in the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University, specializing in the history of photography, with a dissertation on the photographer Lisette Model (1901-1983). She received an M.A. in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford and a B.A. in Art History from Barnard College. Sands has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including the Henry Luce/ACLS Fellowship in American Art, the Canadian Photography Institute Fellowship, the Tyson Scholarship from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Joan and Stanford Alexander Award presented by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Predoctoral Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). Along with her impressive academic record, she has worked in curatorial departments at several art museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Sands has published, given talks, and contributed to exhibitions on artists such as Lisette Model, Bill Brandt, Gordon Matta Clark, Thomas Struth, and Garry Winogrand. She was also the Project Research Assistant on the groundbreaking Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded project Object:Photo at The Museum of Modern Art, and in 2013 she co-curated the exhibition Many Things Placed Here and There: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery, part of Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art.

“It is an honor to join the Center for Creative Photography and Phoenix Art Museum as the Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography,” Sands said. “I am excited to work with CCP’s unrivalled collection of photographs and partner with other cultural institutions to bring rigorous and inspiring exhibitions to the Museum and its expanded community.”

The next photography exhibition organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography, Ansel Adams: Performing the Print, curated by CCP Chief Curator Senf, opens in the Museum’s Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography on January 11, 2020. The exhibition has been expanded from its well-received Tucson run and now features 60 photographs, grouped in twos and threes, to show how Adams often created varying interpretations from a single narrative. Sands is currently working on an exhibition scheduled to open in summer 2020.










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