Marla Hamburg Kennedy

Founder of Hamburg Kennedy Photographs (HK Photographs), HK Art Advisory, Picture This Publications, and Peach Editions, Marla Hamburg Kennedy is a leading dealer, advisor, and  collector of 20th and 21st century photography, painting, and sculpture . With 40 years experience in the fields of contemporary art, photography, publishing, and e-commerce fine art sales, Ms. Hamburg Kennedy has been involved in the contemporary art market: curating, advising, writing, and investing in art and has been instrumental for decades in helping define bounds of contemporary art with classic photography and in creating the current photography market. Bridging the contemporary art world with photography worlds, Ms Kennedy has written extensively about photography and art, curated dozens of historic exhibitions, and advised hundreds of public and private collections in both photography and contemporary Post War and 21st century art.

After earning degrees in Art History from Barnard College and Columbia University and completing graduate studies in photographic history at New York University, Ms Hamburg Kennedy was a writer and researcher for the renowned American preservationist, historian, author, and television producer, Barbaralee Diamonstein Spielvogel, as editor and writer The Landmarks of New York, an Illustrated Record of the City's Historic Building, as well as writing numerous articles and reviews for The New York Times.

Ms Kennedy went on to work for Alanna Heiss, the founder and director of PS1 (now known as MoMA PS1), specifically helping to organize the landmark show Arte Povera with curator Germano Celant in 1985. Ms Kennedy’s gallery career started as the New York Director of the Naples based Galerie Lucio Amelio, the legendary Italian art dealer and curator, working with artists such as Cy Twombly, Keith Haring, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, among many others. She also helped produce one of Amelio's most significant achievements - the exhibition Terrae Motus which he organized in 1982 following the 1980 earthquake in Italy. She helped organize Andy Warhol Vesuvius [Museo di Capodimonte 18 luglio-31 ottobre 1985] and oversaw the production of one of Andy’s last prints, Vesuvius, working directly with the artist and Studio, as well as acting as translator for the catalogue that accompanied the show.

In 1989 Ms Hamburg Kennedy relocated to Los Angeles and became the Director of the Richard Green Gallery during the first influx of New York galleries opening in Los Angles and the booming contemporary art world . In 1992 she was the Director of Angles Gallery specializing in both minimalist and conceptual work by contemporary international artists. Angles was one of the the first galleries to showcase Hiroshi Sugimoto on the West coast.

In 1993 she segued to the field of classic photography, becoming a expert in the field as she directed the renowned West Coast photography gallery, G. Ray Hawkins Gallery. Here she organized dozens of contemporary art and photographic exhibitions around the world. She partnered with H20 Company, based in Osaka and Tokyo, organizing large scale photographic exhibitions that toured throughout the Mitsubishi Stores in Japan for four years and published accompanying catalogs and books for the exhibitions, Kissing, Marilyn Monroe, one of the largest photography exhibitions ever on the subject.

Determined to bridge her love of 20th century fashion photography to the more contemporary art world, Ms Kennedy helped organize the International Festivals of Fashion in Tokyo (1997), writing the accompanying catalog.

Kennedy was a pioneer in developing e-commerce for fine art, as the Senior Director of one of the first e commerce platforms in the world; Kennedy was one of the first to develop proprietary relationships with sites as One Kings Lane, Gilt, and TheReal Real, Fab in selling photography online.

In 1999 Kennedy teamed with Marianne Boesky to open Kennedy Boesky Gallery to be one of the first contemporary art galleries to showcase side by side classic photography with contemporary art. Some notable exhibitions include: A Survey of 20th Century German Photography, Photographs by Yoshitomo Nara, 1970s Color Photography. Kennedy Boesky was also the first gallery to exhibit the work of controversial of the German film director and actress, Leni Riefensthal.

In 1996 Ms Kennedy founded Picture This Publications to publish, edit, curate, and partner on over 25 photography books (several with accompanying traveling exhibitions) including: The Kiss: Photographic Images (Greystone 1993); The Nude/Nobuyoshi Araki (H20 Company, 1993); Wedding Days (H20 1994); Little Angels (DAP, 1996); Little Devils (DAP 1996); I Do (DAP 1997); Car Culture (Gibbs Smith, 1997); International Festival of Fashion Photography I (H20 Japan, 1999); Fashion Photography II (H20, 2001); Twin Towers: An Elegy (Picture This Pub, 2002), Variety: Photographs by Nan Goldin (Rizzoli 2006); Havana Libre: Photographs by Michael Dweck (Damiani 2012), Nan Goldin Variety (Rizzoli).

Her book, Looking at Los Angeles ( Metropolis/DAP 2005), co-edited with Ben Stiller sold out its edition run and received considerable accolades, including being nominated as the #1 best art book on  New York: A Photographer's City (Rizzoli 2011) produced in partnership with the designer Richard Pandiscio captured images of post 9/11 New York City as documented by contemporary photographers.   In 2014 she facilitated the production of the celebrated fashion photographer Ormond Gigli's first monograph, Ormond Gigli (Powerhouse 2014). In 2016 she edited and helped publish Jamel Shabazz. In 2014 Ms Kennedy worked with long time friend Lenny Kravitz on Lenny Kravitz (September 2014, Rizzoli) for which she wrote the Afterword. She completed her second acclaimed book on Los Angeles with Both Sides of Sunset: Photographs of Los Angeles (Metropolis/DAP Spring 2015) with introduction by Ed Ruscha and accompanying exhibition. LIPSTICK FLAVOR: A Contemporary Art Story was co-edited with the curator Jérôme Sans (Damiani, Fall 2015) BROOKLYN NOW included photographs of contemporary Brooklyn published by Rizzoli and released to positive reviews in September 2018. Jamel Shabazz: Sights in the City, New Street Photographs was released in 2017.

In 2014 she launched Peach Editions, an in-house print publishing company and e-commerce platform for affordable fine art prints.  Other online projects include KIDS a virtual exhibition of over 200 images of children by the world’s most renowned photographers for her close to heart non-profit Foster Care Counts in Los Angeles: an LA based organization offering support for foster care kids and families nationwide. Kennedy also initiated the Art Collection for children at  New York’s Ronald McDonald House and has donated art generously to auctions to benefit numerous philanthropic projects worldwide.

While Ms Hamburg Kennedy holds a strong presence in New York City, she recently relocated to Los Angeles where she lives with her husband, 2 dogs, and cat, and has a new gallery opening in Palm Springs in 2022. She has been an active member of Columbia University Alumni, and National Arts Club New York.

Ms Kennedy is an ardent lover of animals, and is a generous supporter of philanthropic organizations such as  ASPCA and national and local shelters. She has been a foster mom and rescuer for dogs for over 35 years.


Partial List of Curated Shows and/or Publications

Group Exhibitions

  • Car Culture: A History of the Automobile in Photographs
  • Take the “A” Train – The NY Subway in the vision of 20th Century Photography
  • A Century in Times Square
  • American Color Photography of the 1970s: A Comprehensive Survey
  • The Knot: Arte Povera, at P.S 1, The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, NY
  • Andre Kertesz Masterworks
  • “Kissing,” the most comprehensive photo exhibition and accompanying book on the the kiss in photography, commenced in Japan and traveled the world at ten venues for two years
  • Contemporary Painting” – Leocosmo, Ltd., Japan
  • Art Night Life” – benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles, raising over $300M
  • “Terrae Motus,” exhibition and accompanying publication for Fondazione Amelio commemorating the 1981 earthquake in Naples Italy and including work by over 200 modern and contemporary masters coordinator for production of Vesuvius, by Andy Warhol, one of his last limited edution prints for an exhibition of the same title at the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples.
  • Marlene Dietrich a History of Vintage Photographs
  • Nobuyoshi Araki and the Nude
  • British Social Documentary Photograph 1930-1960
  • Marilyn Monroe – An Icon in Photography, one of the lartgest exhibitions of Monroe images ever
  • Wedding Days: Capturing the International Rite of Passage in Photography
  • Coenties Slip / NY 1950s: Rosenquist, Indiana, Kelly, Martin:  Where Art History Was Made   


Marla Hamburg Kennedy