Linde B. Lehtinen appointed Curator of Photography at The Huntington

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Linde B. Lehtinen appointed Curator of Photography at The Huntington
Lehtinen, who has served as assistant curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) since 2015. Photo: Don Ross.

SAN MARINO, CA.- The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens announced today the appointment of Linde B. Lehtinen as curator of photography. Lehtinen, who has served as assistant curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) since 2015, will join The Huntington in early September.

“Linde brings a brilliant combination of museum and archives experience, scholarly insight and achievement, and a well-rounded understanding of the history of photography and of photographers, making her an exceptional choice for this position,” said Sandra Brooke, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington.

At SFMOMA, Lehtinen curated an exhibition on artist Elad Lassry and helped organize a range of exhibitions on photography and photographers, including a show on Mike Mandel and a major retrospective on the late Southern California photographer Larry Sultan. She co-curated the 2018 exhibition “The Train: RFK’s Last Journey,” presenting through photography a poignant documentation of the events of June 8, 1968, the day when former U.S. Attorney General and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy’s body was transported from New York City to Washington, D.C., following his assassination. While at SFMOMA, Lehtinen pursued collecting initiatives for contemporary Hong Kong and Filipinx photography. She has served as a member and collections and exhibitions project team leader for the museum’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Core Team.

Before working at SFMOMA, Lehtinen held a number of museum positions, serving in curatorial capacities at the Skirball Cultural Center and the J. Paul Getty Museum and as research assistant and library assistant at the Getty Research Institute.

At the Skirball, she was the installation curator for “Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams” and curated the accompanying exhibition “Citizen 13660: The Art of Miné Okubo.”

“It is a tremendous honor to find a home at The Huntington, which has one of the most extraordinary and vast collections of photographs, at a time when the institution is making serious strides in further diversifying its acquisitions and exhibitions,” said Lehtinen. “I see myself playing a major role in that and connecting with multiple audiences and communities. There are endless possibilities—imagining how photography intersects with The Huntington’s history of science materials, for instance, or how it can activate new narratives with the art collections and botanical gardens. Especially with historical photography, it’s exciting to think about how images change through time, depending on circumstances and context.”

Lehtinen received a B.A. in art history from the University of Chicago and an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Huntington’s photography collection comprises some 800,000 images, dating from the 1850s to the present. It includes examples of a wide variety of print and negative processes and formats. Collecting strengths include photography of the American West, with holdings of the work of Edward Weston and Carleton E. Watkins, among others. Additional photographers represented are Frederick Monsen and Carl Moon, who documented Southwestern Native American communities. The archives of C. C. Pierce and “Dick” Whittington document the development of Los Angeles. The archive of architectural photographer Maynard L. Parker and the Southern California Outdoor Advertising Collection document the region in the mid-20th century. Other strengths include photographs of the American Civil War, with photographers George Barnard, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and Andrew Russell all represented in depth.

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