Born: Odessa, Texas, 1985
Current day-to-day: National Collector, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Josh T Franco is a native of West Texas. His dissertation, "Marfa, Marfa: Minimalism, rasquachismo, and Questioning 'Decolonial Aesthetics' in Far West Texas" was completed in the Art History department at Binghamton University in April 2016. His graduate work was supported by the Clifford D. Clark Fellowship, the Ithaca College Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship, and the Imagining America PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education) Fellowship. Franco served as a 2014 - 2015 PAGE National Co-Director. Since January 2013, he has been an Artist-Guide at JUDD Foundation, the New York home and studio of Donald Judd, commonly known by its address, 101 Spring Street.
Franco has presented scholarly and critical work in the following venues: Marfa Book Co., Stanford University, College Art Association, Association of Art Historians, Utrecht University, American Comparative Literature Association, Dartmouth College, HEMI Graduate Student Initiative (Hemispheric Institute), zingmagazine, The Frick Collection, ...mightbegood, Latino Art Now!, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and Independent Curators International.
As an artist, Franco has produced and exhibited one artwork annually since 2009. In addition to fulfilling a creative need, this practice ensures that his scholarship is constantly informed by the intimate processes of making work and participating directly in the exhibition process. These works have been hosted by Co-Lab (Austin), Society for the Study of Gloria E. Anzaldúa (San Antonio / Austin), Community School of Music and Art (Ithaca), Esperanza Peace and Justice Center (San Antonio), Lady Base Gallery (San Antonio), WorkSpaceBrussels, NurtureArt Gallery (Bushwick), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), DePauw University, Studio SoHy (Hyattsville MD), and Elsewhere Museum (Greensboro NC).
As National Collector at the Archives of American Art, Franco works to identify, investigate, and acquire personal papers, institutional records and other primary sources that tell the stories of American art. In addition to ensuring their preservation at the Smithsonian, Franco advises researchers working in the Archives, making them aware of materials relevant to their pursuits. Franco also advises early and mid-career artists on planning for the future of their personal papers. Previously, Franco served as Latino Collections Specialist at the Archives of American Art (2015 - 2017). For more in-depth information, see the Smithsonian Insider's Q&A with Franco here.