Curator of Native American Art
Kathleen Ash-Milby was appointed the Curator of Native American Art in 2019. Her responsibilities include the research, documentation, exhibition and care of both historic and contemporary collections.
Previously Ash-Milby was an Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in New York, where she organized numerous exhibitions including Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, with David Garneau (2017), Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist (2015) with David Penney, C.Maxx Stevens: House of Memory (2012), and Off the Map: Landscape in the Native Imagination (2007). International projects include SITElines Biennial: much wider than a line, at SITE Santa Fe (2016); Mind (the) Gap: International Indigenous Art in Motion, Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia (2011); and Edgar Heap of Birds: Most Serene Republics, a public art installation and collateral project for the 52nd International Art Exhibition / Venice Biennale (2007).
Ash-Milby is a recipient of two Secretary of the Smithsonian’s Excellence in Research Awards for her exhibition and publication HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor (2010) and for the publication Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist. She was a fellow in the 2015 Center for Curatorial Leadership Program in New York and served on the boards of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (2007-2012) and the American Indian Community House (2005-2007), and she was the president of the Native American Art Studies Association (2011-2015). Ash-Milby was the curator and co-director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City from 2000 to 2005.
A member of the Navajo Nation, she earned her master of arts from the University of New Mexico in Native American art history and her bachelor of arts from the University of Washington.