Karen Sinsheimer, for 25 years the Curator of Photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, died this Tuesday. A fascinating, prodigious, and profoundly generous person and scholar, Sinsheimer changed all of the many communities she participated in for the better.

Karen Sinsheimer
Courtesy Photo

Best known today for her groundbreaking and influential efforts as a curator of photography, Sinsheimer was also the founding board president of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, among many other distinguished accomplishments in both the arts and the sciences.

In a statement, SBMA Director Larry Feinberg praised the “keen intelligence, determination, and disarming charm” she demonstrated in the course of administering a significant increase in the size and coherence of the museum’s permanent collection of photos, and in organizing 120 exhibitions at the SBMA, including many that traveled to other museums around the world.

Sinsheimer is survived by her husband, Robert L. Sinsheimer, Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Biology Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


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