Media Room Graham W. J. Beal
Director, the Detroit Institute of Arts
Graham Beal, a native of Great Britain, was born in Stratford-on-Avon and grew up near Hastings on the south coast of England. He has degrees in English and art history from the University of Manchester and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
After commencing his museum career at Sheffield City Art Galleries, he moved to the United States in 1973, working for one year at the University of South Dakota before moving on to Washington University in St. Louis as Art Gallery Director.
In 1977, Beal became curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis,
an institution renowned for its interdisciplinary approach to contemporary
art. He subsequently became chief curator and worked there until
1983, when he returned to England to be the director of the Sainsbury
Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia until 1984.
He returned to the U.S. to take the position of chief curator at
the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which he left in 1989 to
become director of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. In
July 1996, he became the director of the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art. In 1999, Beal joined the Detroit Institute of Arts, where
he is the director, president, and CEO.
Beal has organized more than 40 exhibitions, many of which have
toured nationally. His publications include books on the American
artist Jim Dine and on contemporary British sculpture, as well as
articles in the monthly art journal Apollo. He has served
on numerous art panels and was a member of the Federal Advisory
Committee on International Exhibitions from 1991 to 1995. He is
a member of the board of trustees of the Association of Art Museum
Directors and serves as chair of the Association's Art Issues Committee
as well as a trustee-elect of the board of trustees of the American
Association of Museums.
James W. Tottis
Acting Curator of American Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts
James Tottis joined the American art department in 1985 as assistant curator and has been in his current position of acting curator of American art at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) since July 1998. He is responsible for one of country’s premier 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century painting collections, as well as sculpture, furniture and decorative arts. Tottis is also the staff liaison for the DIA auxiliaries Associates of the American Wing and Founders Junior Council.
Tottis attended Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in History, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Art History. He is currently an adjunct professor in the Humanities department at WSU.
Some recent exhibitions curated and organized by Tottis include American Beauty: Painting and Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1770-1920, which has toured in Europe and the U.S. (2002-2004); Building Detroit (2001) and Selections of American Folk Art from the Detroit Institute of Arts (1997).
Tottis coordinated several important projects at the DIA, including the restoration of Washington Alston’s monumental painting Belshazzar’s Feast. He also directed several gallery restorations and reinstallations including the Hudson River school galleries, the late 19th/early 20th-century decorative arts gallery, and the gallery devoted to works from the mid 19th-century.
Tottis is a member of the Association of Art
Museum Curators and the National Academy of Design.