icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Diana Ketcham, Ph.D.


Founding Director, The Grabhorn Institute
Senior Editor, Arion Press (retired)


Ph. D. University of California at Berkeley, English
B. A. Whitman College (honors), English & Philosophy


  • The Berlin Prize in Architecture (American Academy in Berlin) 1998
  • San Francisco Mayor’s Office Certificate (exhibition affordable housing) 1997
  • American Institute of Architects International Architecture Book Award 1995
  • Manufacturers Hanover Distinguished Newspaper Criticism Award 1990
  • Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, Bellagio, Italy 1989
  • Graham Foundation for the Fine Arts Fellowship 1988
  • Fulbright Fellowship (France) 1974



  • The de Young in the 21st Century: A Museum by Herzog & de Meuron, Thames & Hudson, 2005

  • The Architecture of the American People, (contributor), Oxford University Press, forthcoming

  • The Changing Garden 1500-2000, (contributor), University of California Press, 2003

  • The Désert de Retz: A Late Eighteenth Century French Folly Garden. With Photography by Michael Kenna. The MIT Press, 1994.



Senior Editor, Arion Press, 1994-2018


Contributing Editor, House & Garden, 1996-2000


Book and Architecture Critic, The Oakland Tribune, 1980-1993. Full-time staff arts and architecture critic and editor of the book review section


Editor, New York magazine, 1974. Editor of city politics, music, book and architecture columns



Seminar Leader, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology, October 1992, architectural writing and criticism


Lecturer, Department of Communications, California State University, Hayward, California, 1978-1979, news and feature writing, arts reviewing


Lecturer, University of California at Berkeley, Strawberry Creek College, 1977-1978, interdisciplinary American Studies seminar, critical writing


Visiting Professor, University of Paris, XII, 1974-1975, American Studies


Selected Articles:

"Sea Ranch, California's Modernist Utopia, Gets an Update," The New York Times, June 11, 2019


"Writing on the Wall: William Kentridge in Rome," Art in America, May 13, 2016


"Making a Minimalist Statement,", ARTNews, January 2011


Interview with Renzo Piano, ARTnews, October 2008


“Louis Kahn’s Yale Art Museum,” ARTnews, March, 2007


“The Landscape Debate in “Arcadia”,” introduction to “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard, Arion Press, San Francisco, 2003


Sea Change Where the View Once Ruled (Sea Ranch),” The New York Times, May 31, 2001


Architecture’s Swiss Mystic” (Peter Zumthor) The New York Times, January 2, 2000 


Will the Caged Rock Fly in Napa” (Herzog and de Meuron, Dominus Winery) The New York Times, May 12, 1998


“Roth’s Last Novel,” The New Yorker, April 18, 1997


“FDR Memorialized,” The Nation, July 12, 1997.


“No Garland for Getty Garden,” The San Francisco Examiner, December 20, 1997


“History from the Ashes.” (Frank Israel) The New York Times, August 17, 1995


“Suisun City Redevelopment.” Architectural Record, June, 1995


“Rem Koolhaas: Dramatic Entrances at Euralille.” ARTnews, November, 1995


Thomas Jefferson’s Paris.” American Heritage, April 1995


Gertrude Jekyll: In Her Own Images.” The New York Times, August 26, 1993.


Frank Lloyd Wright: Prophet With Honor.” The New Republic, June 7, 1993


“The San Francisco Downtown Plan.” Architecture California,  Fall, 1990.


“Punk Nihilism and the Architecture of Frank Gehry.” The New Criterion, March, 1988


“The Eclectic Style: Julia Morgan, Architect.” The Nation, December 5, 1988


“Who’s Afraid of James Stirling.” ARTnews, February, 1989


“I Am A Whore: Philip Johnson at Eighty.” The New Criterion. December, 1986


Selected Lectures:

The U.S. Embassy in Berlin (Moderator, the “Embassy Architecture Symposium”) September, 2008. The Bard Graduate Center and Parrish Art Museum (The Eighteenth Century French Garden.) May 2002. Bard College, March, 2001 (Frank Gehry), Gerald Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston, October, 2000, (LA Downtown Freeways and Bridges: Tom Mayne) Tulane University, March, 2000, The American Academy in Berlin, (The FDR Memorial) November, 1998, The Museum of Arts and Crafts, Leipzig, Germany, (Frank Lloyd Wright) January, 1999, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, February, 1996. (Frank Israel) Pilchuck Glass School, August, 1995. (Glass Architecture) The University of Virginia, November, 1993 (Jefferson Symposium), The Royal Institute of British Architects, November, 1991, The Stanford Humanities Center, April, 1992, Illinois Institute of Technology, Oct. 1992, The Ansel Adams Center, October, 1993, Los Angeles AIA, September, 1990, (Critics Symposia)

Consulting/Community Work


Consulting/Community WorkGrabhorn Institute, co-founder/director of Museum of Printing, 1999-present


Richard Rogers Partnership/ForestCity Enterprises, consultant on entry in SF TransBay competition. 2008. 


Beyer Blinder Belle, consultant on design competitions, including the SF Asian Art Museum (runner-up to Gae Aulenti) 1996-2000


City of San Francisco, Mayor’s Office, 1997, Writer on Affordable Housing


Bay Area Affordable Housing Group 1994-1998. Founding Member, fundraising and writing


Member, Downtown Oakland “Visions” Committee (Lawrence Halprin’s downtown planning workshops) 1992-1993


Juror, Oakland City Orchids and Onions Architectural Awards, 1986-1993


Founding Member, Bay Area Book Reviewers’ Association, 1983-1993


Art Teacher, Henry Street Settlement House, New York 1972


Selected Exhibitions (Curator):

“Neighbors and Neighborhoods: San Francisco Affordable Housing:” San Francisco Public Library, May, 1997. “The Désert de Retz: The Architecture of Fantasy in 18th Century France:” The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, January 19-March 31, 1991; The Royal Institute of British Architects, Heinz Gallery, November 7-December 19, 1991; The University of Virginia, Campbell Gallery, November 6 -December 10, 1993. Tulane University, Newcombe Art Gallery, March-June, 2001

Languages: French