Rebecca (Becky) Senf

Photo of Becky Senf
Rebecca (Becky)
Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography, Norton Family Curator, Phoenix Museum of Art

Dr. Rebecca Senf is the Chief Curator at the Center for Creative Photography and the Norton Family Curator of Photography, a joint appointment between the Center for Creative Photography and the Phoenix Art Museum. 

Between 2007 and 2015 she curated thirty two exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum including Debating Modern Photography: the Triumph of Group f/64; Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence; Human Nature: the Photographs of Barbara Bosworth; Edward Weston: Mexico; Odyssey: the Photographs of Linda Connor; Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe; Exposing Time: Capturing Change Through Photography; Pure Photography, Post Production and Mixed Media; W. Eugene Smith: Photo Essays; From Above: Aerial Photography from the Center for Creative Photography; The Process and the Page: Developing Photographic Books; All that Glitters is Not Gold: Platinum Photography from the Center for Creative Photography; One-of-a-Kind: Unique Photographic Objects and the Steele Gallery exhibition, Ansel Adams: Discoveries of January to June, 2010.  Her exhibitions at the Center for Creative Photography have included Made In Arizona: Photographs from the Collection; Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture; and Lives of Pictures: Forty Years of Collecting at the Center for Creative Photography, which she co-curated with her predecessor, CCP Chief Curator Joshua Chuang.

Senf grew up in Tucson and went to undergraduate school at the University of Arizona, studying the History of Photography.  She spent ten years in Boston, Massachusetts where she earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art History at Boston University.  In Boston she worked on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s major exhibition Ansel Adams from The Lane Collection, for which she also co-authored the exhibition catalogue.  In October of 2012 her book Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe was released by University of California Press.  She contributed an interview with Frank Gohlke to an upcoming volume from Bloomsbury Press entitled Before-and-After Photography: Histories and Contexts edited by Jordan Bear and Kate Palmer Albers.

Senf has an active role in the photographic community, frequently participating in portfolio reviews (such as Review Santa Fe, Photo Lucida, Photo NOLA, Houston FotoFest, and Medium); convening panels and presenting papers at conferences and professional meetings (such as College Art Association, the Southwest Art History Association, Society for Photographic Education, Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, and FOCUS); jurying exhibitions (including for the Center for Fine Art Photography, Art Intersection, and the Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition at Texas Woman’s University); and speaking at museums (such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Honolulu Museum of Art).  In 2015, she curated an intensely personal online exhibition for Art Photo Index, called “Not MY Family Values,” about family life and the pressures of parenting.

Senf maintains an active social media presence as a way to build community and be connected to her institutions’ multiple audiences.  She can be found on Facebook at Becky Senf Ccp, on Twitter at @RebeccaSenf, and on Instagram at BECKYSENF.

Senf has received recognition as one of the “101 Photo Industry Professionals You Should Follow on Twitter” by Feature Shoot blog; was profiled on the LENSCRATCH blog, as part of the Mixtape Series; was named “Best Curator” by the Arizona Republic, in March 2012 and was recently awarded the “Rising Star” award by the Griffin Museum of Photography, in Winchester, Massachusetts.