The Getty Research Institute (GRI) has announced the appointment of LeRonn P. Brooks as Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections, specializing in African- American art. Brooks fills a position newly created as part of the Getty Research Institute’s African- American Art History Initiative, an ambitious program launched last year to establish the G RI as a major center for the study of African -American art and art history. Brooks will begin his position in June.

“LeRonn P. Brooks brings an informed, critical voice to the Getty Research Institute’s curatorial department and is a welcome addition to our scholarly community,” said Mary Miller, director of the GRI. “I am looking forward to working with him as he helps build collections for research on 20th-21st century American art history. His mandate – to help develop our research and resources on African American art history and connect them to our other collecting areas – is vitally important at the GRI and I’m certain he is the best person for the task.”

Brooks is currently a faculty member at Lehman College in New York. He brings broad curatorial experience to the Getty, having curated the Racial Imaginary Institute exhibition “On Whiteness,” which included artists Cindy Sherman, Glenn Ligon, Ken Gonzales-Day, Kate Greenstreet, Titus Kaphar, Mel Chin, Baseera Khan, and Toyin Ojih Odutola, among others. He also organized a related performance series and symposium. For the Bronx Council on the Arts, Brooks curated the 2016 exhibition “Bronx: Africa” which exhibited the work of 25 early and mid-career Bronx-based African artists.

“With the African-American Art History Initiative, the Getty Research Institute is making a strong, long-term commitment to the field of African-American art history and hiring a talented scholar to build and develop our collections and related programs is a major part of that effort,” said Andrew Perchuk, deputy director of the GRI. “LeRonn Brooks’s career has emphasized collaboration and interdisciplinary studies, an approach that we value as we work with partner institutions and living artists to promote advanced research in African-American art history and, ultimately, a fuller and richer picture of American art.”

As a member of the modern and contemporary collections curatorial team at the GRI, Brooks will help to build collections and to present programs related to African-American art. This will include acquiring art historical and artists’ archives and other original sources and documents. Brooks is the first full-time staff member hired at the GRI under the new African American Art History initiative.