Dave Kehr, author, journalist, film historian, critic, and curator of film at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will be awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by Bénédicte de Montlaur, the cultural counselor of the French embassy, on June 15 in New York. Kehr will receive this distinction in recognition of his achievements as a critic and curator with a focus on French cinema.
A native of Oklahoma City, Kehr earned his undergraduate degree in English at the University of Chicago. He began learning French in order to read the influential French film critics of the Politique des Auteurs school, pioneered in the journals Les Cahiers du cinema and Positif. Kehr began writing film criticism for the student newspaper at the University of Chicago and eventually became a film critic for the Chicago Reader, from 1974 until 1985, moving on to write for the Chicago Tribune before relocating to New York to become a critic and columnist for the Daily News and the New York Times.
He joined the Museum of Modern Art as adjunct curator in the department of film in 2013 and was appointed curator in 2017. Kehr curates programs for the museum’s extensive public exhibition program and works with the museum’s vast film archive on restorations and circulating programs.