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Dr. Rebecca Senf Named Chief Curator at Center for Creative Photography


Gina Compitello-Moore


Marketing Manager





Dr. Rebecca Senf Named Chief Curator at Center for Creative Photography


The University of Arizona is delighted to announce Dr. Rebecca Senf’s appointment to the position of Chief Curator at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP). 


Dr. Senf earned her PhD at Boston University, during which time she worked for five years at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, most notably on the exhibition Ansel Adams from the Lane Collection. She co-authored the exhibition publication and established her reputation as an important Adams scholar. In 2007, Senf joined the CCP as the inaugural curator of a collaboration with Phoenix Art Museum, bringing exhibitions from the Center’s world-renowned collections to Phoenix audiences.  In her new role, she will continue to oversee this relationship.


“Dr. Senf is an accomplished curator and scholar of photography,” says

Senior Vice President for Research Dr. Kimberly Andrews Espy. “With her record of success, she is an ideal Chief Curator who will advance the CCP to even greater distinction”.  


Senf is excited to step into this new role. “The Center’s distinctive collections of fine prints and archival objects present exciting opportunities for exhibitions and scholarship. Both our well-known treasures and hidden gems like the Voices of Photography oral history recordings offer rich possibilities for scholars, curators, and artists to discover new histories in our rapidly changing field. I am thrilled to continue working with the talented staff at the Center to fulfill the promise of the institution’s mission.”


Among her thirty-two shows at Phoenix Art Museum, Senf has curated monographic exhibitions on Edward Weston and Richard Avedon and contemporary artists Barbara Bosworth, Linda Connor, and Mark Klett & Byron Wolfe, with whom she published Reconstructing the View: Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe with the University of California Press in 2012. Other exhibitions have included Debating Modern Photography: The Triumph of Group f.64, All that Glitters is Not

Gold: Platinum Photography from the Center for Creative Photography and One of a Kind: Unique Photographic Objects. In 2010 she organized Ansel Adams: Discoveries, an expansive reconsideration of Adams’s contributions as an educator, activist, and artist. A hallmark of this exhibition, and Dr. Senf’s curatorial practice, is the considered use of archival objects to illuminate a photographer’s thought process, working methods, relationships, and impact. 


Senf’s colleague Malcolm Daniel, Curator in Charge in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, comments, “The Center’s many constituents will benefit tremendously from Senf’s investment in and connection to audiences. It is a pleasure to see her translate a sophisticated and deeply knowledgeable view of photography with dynamic and engaging passion.”


Between now and the close of the Center’s current exhibition Lives of Pictures: Forty Years of Collecting at the Center for Creative Photography Senf is offering a series of lunchtime gallery tours, to allow members of the community to meet her and learn about her curatorial approach.  The casual “walk throughs”, which will offer time for questions, are scheduled for Tuesday February 23, Thursday March 3, Wednesday March 23, Saturday April 23 and Thursday May 12.  Senf will give an evening lecture about the exhibition and her curatorial process this spring. 


School of Art Director Colin Blakely stated: “Becky’s history with and contributions to The Center make her voice a vital one through this time of transition and beyond. She has been proactive in building collaborations with the School of Art, and we are excited to work with her in her new capacity as Chief Curator!”




The Center for Creative Photography at The University of Arizona is recognized as one of the world's finest academic art museums and study centers for the history of photography. The Center opened in 1975, following a meeting between the University President John Schaefer and Ansel Adams. Beginning with the archives of five living master photographers—Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer—the collection has grown to include 239 archival collections. Among these are some of the most recognizable names in 20th center North American photography: W. Eugene Smith, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Edward Weston, and Garry Winogrand. Altogether there are over five million archival objects in the Center's collection including negatives, work prints, contact sheets, albums, scrapbooks, correspondence, writings, audiovisual materials and memorabilia. In addition to whole archival collections the Center also actively acquired individual photographs by modern and contemporary photographers. There are currently more than 90,000 works by over 2,200 photographers. A library of books, journals, and exhibition and auction catalogs including many rare publications plus an extensive oral history collection complements the archival and fine print collections. The combined art, archival, and research collections at the Center provide an unparalleled resource for research, exhibitions, loans, and traveling exhibitions.  The Center is one of three research and engagement units that reports to the Office of Research & Discovery, and is joined by the University of Arizona Museum of Art and the Arizona State Museum.    


Release date: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Press images: