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Peter Held to Retire as ASU Art Museum Ceramics Curator

UPDATE: ASU Art Museum has named Garth Johnson as Peter Held's successor.

ASU Art Museum announced on Wednesday, June 18, that longtime ceramics curator Peter Held will retire.

Held has been with the museum for 11 years and has curated more than 100 exhibitions through the Ceramics Research Center, which recently moved to Mill Avenue from its Tempe campus location. Held will retire at the end of June 2014.

See also: ASU Art Museum Seeks Collections for Summer CRC Show Among his most notable exhibitions were mid-career shows and retrospectives for artists including Akio Takamori, David Shaner, Kurt Weiser, Wanxin Zhang, Karen Karnes, and Wayne Higby.

His final exhibition with the museum, "These Are Some of My Favorite Things," will open at the CRC on Saturday, July 19. After retiring, his plans include pursuing independent curatorial and research projects.

"My tenure at Arizona State University these last 11 years has been truly astonishing. Working with engaged colleagues and faculty members, energized students, talented artists, writers and researchers and generous collectors and patrons has given me a solid platform to carry out my work," Held says via press release. "Every day there was something new to learn, and that never diminished for me over the years. The success I have achieved is due, in large part, to a passionate community of supporters who believed, as I do, in the possibility that art can transform and enrich our lives."

During said tenure, Held received the Smithsonian's James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Educator Award, the National Council for Education on the Ceramic Arts Honorary Member Award, and jointly with the CRC he was awarded the 2007 Ceramic Lifetime Achievement Award from the Friends of Contemporary Ceramics.

"In 11 short years, Peter has transformed an excellent yet modest collection of American ceramics into the best assembly of post-war American ceramics in the world; and he did so by growing and activating that archive -- integrating the collection into the ethos and mission of the university by converting a collection into a world class and highly active research center," says ASU Art Museum Gordon Knox via press release. "On behalf of the museum, the university and the ceramics field in general, we are deeply grateful for Peter's tireless effort, compassionate support of the field and solid contributions to research and to the advancement of the ceramic arts."

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski