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Bowers Museum’s CEO Keller Dies

Passes away after 31 years at famous museum

Santa Ana’s Bowers Museum said longtime Chief Executive Dr. Peter C. Keller has died. He was 75.

“In many ways, his final day was an ideal one for him – putting in a full day of work in preparation for the opening of an exceptional exhibition that he was very proud of, Guo Pei: Art of Couture, followed by dinner with his wife,” said a statement from the Bowers Museum.

Keller, who was born in 1947 in Allentown, Penn., earned a B.A in geology from George Washington University and his M.A. and PH.D. in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin where he specialized in the Geology of northern Mexico.

Prior to joining Bowers, Keller was the director of education at the Gemological Institute of America, the largest educational institution for gemology in the world, and spent almost a decade at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, where he was Curator of Mineralogy and later Associate Director for Public Programs.

After he joined the Bowers Museum in 1991, he oversaw two major building expansions and focused on presenting fine art and culture, including over 50 critically acclaimed exhibitions such as Secrets of the Silk Road, Terra Cotta Warriors, and Mummies: Treasures from the British Museum.

Bowers also forged major partnerships with some of the greatest museums throughout the world, including the British Museum, the Palace Museums in Beijing and Taiwan, and the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, Colombia.

Keller is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren. The cause of death wasn’t disclosed. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Keller’s family asks that donations be made to the Bowers Museum at www.bowers.org/donate.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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