Interiors / Exteriors

The California African American Museum: How Naima Keith Is Bringing A New Vision of Black Art to the West Coast

After many years work building a body of knowledge and a reputation in the art world Naima Keith is one of the United States’ most talked about young curators. With a resumé that includes esteemed museums like the Hammer Museum and The Studio Museum in Harlem, Naima is now bringing her wealth of experience to the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles. Recently named the museum’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Naima returned home to Los Angeles after working in Harlem for many years, bringing a whole new energy and vision to a museum that was first established in the 1970s. Keith is at the center of a new renaissance at CAAM, staying close to its mission of preserving the art and culture of African Americans on the west coast of the United States, but also taking that mission a step further. Under her leadership, CAAM is fast-becoming a new epicenter of Black arts and culture, reshaping the landscape of the museum scene in LA with a space that is not only holding the latest shows, but also thought-provoking conversations. Events like their talk with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, screenings with Ava DuVernay, after-hours gatherings where actors like Jesse Williams make impromptu appearances, and appearing as an important space for black creatives in HBOs hit show, Insecure, are just a few of the ways that Naima is reshaping LA’s fashionable nights out to include a trip to the museum.

by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason (Aphrochic)

The full article is available in the 4th issue of MOYI.