Bess Murphy was born and raised in the artist community of Santa Fe, NM. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Bard College and a M.A. and PhD in 20th Century American Art History from the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the decentering of canonical narratives of American art by positioning art and artists of the Southwest, practitioners of craft and "traditional" art forms, and artists of color into the lens of mainstream art. She is currently the Curator at the Coe Center for the Arts where she works with leading Native artists, community members, and students to develop meaningful programs, exhibitions, and creative experiments. She has taught Art History and Museum Studies at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and the Institute of American Indian Arts and has held positions at galleries, museums, and art centers as well as alternative artist-led art spaces. She is deeply dedicated to supporting the arts and artists of the Southwest, and of Santa Fe specifically.