Katherine Plake Hough

Katherine Plake Hough began her museum career in 1975 as Registrar at the Palm Springs Desert Museum. (Name was changed to Palm Springs Art Museum in April 2005.) In 1979 she became the Curator of Art, and since 2002 serves as Chief Curator. During her forty-one year career at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Hough has expanded the museum’s permanent collection of art and exhibition program. She has authored over thirty exhibition catalogs and numerous essays and organized over forty-five special exhibitions, including fourteen that have traveled throughout the United States. She has been a guest juror for numerous exhibitions, presented lectures, and participated in symposia and conferences throughout the United States. Hough was the managing editor of two books published in 2014 by the PSAM on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.

Hough was the founding Chairman of the Public Arts Commission for the City of Palm Springs from 1988-1990, and since 1995 has served as a member of the Art in Public Places Commission for the City of Palm Desert. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Balboa Art Conservation Center, San Diego; Fundraising Advisory Committee member for Joshua Tree National Park Association; and former board member of Fashion Group International of Palm Springs and Desert Communities. Hough has served as a Field Reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Hough was President of the Western Museums Association from 2000-2002 and currently is a board member. Since 1997, she has participated in the planning of WMA annual conferences in San Diego, Anchorage, Sacramento, Victoria, B.C., Palm Springs, Tucson, among other cities. Hough was selected as the outstanding museum professional of the year and received the WMA Director’s Chair Award 2012.

Born in Colorado, Hough earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture Interiors from California State University, Long Beach and her Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies as well as Exhibition Design from California State University, Fullerton. She has been a resident of Palm Springs since 1973. Married to Greg Hough, they have two sons, Hunter and Lance.