Key Jo Lee
Director of Academic Affairs and Associate Curator of Special Projects
Key Jo Lee is director of academic affairs and associate curator of special projects at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Lee joined the CMA in 2017 as assistant director of academic affairs. She designs and implements programs to inspire scholarly engagement with the CMA’s collections; creates and tracks opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students’ exposure to humanities fields and museum careers; and develops and oversees the CMA’s academic institutional partnerships. Lee, whose expertise is in American art history, the history of photography, and African American studies as well as museum education, is responsible for curatorial and publication projects that both highlight the intersection of scholarly work and public audiences and illuminate works in the collection by artists of the Black diaspora.
As an art historian, curator, critic, and educator she brings a multifaceted perspective and fierce devotion to unearthing silenced narratives to her work within and without the museum. She earned her BA in art history at Douglass College and a dual MA in art history and African American studies from Yale University. She is currently a PhD candidate at Yale University. Her dissertation is titled “Precarious Matter(s): Photography, Physics, and Blackness.”