Board of Directors

The 803 Foundation is led by a Board of Directors who receive guidance as needed from an Advisory Board. The Foundation supports a wide variety of projects conducted by Board Members in collaboration with Research Fellows, Research Associates, and Collaborators from a variety of outside institutions. 

Board Members

David Teplica MD, MFA, Founding President of the Board and Original Administrative Director, Chicago, IL

Eileen Jeffers, Founding Member of the Board and Secretary, Chicago, IL

Donald Keith, MBA, Member of the Board, Reston, VA

David Teplica teaches an anatomic workshop (Left, above), Eileen Jeffers poised to edit a manuscript (Center, above), and monozygotic twins Louis* and Donald Keith speak with David Teplica at the exhibition opening for “Gemelli” in Florence, Italy, 2012 (Right, above)

*Louis Keith, MD, PhD, ScD(Hon), Deceased, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, and Founding Member of the Board of The 803 Foundation

Advisory Board Members

David Travis, Former Curator of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

David Travis is the former Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago where he directed photography exhibitions, programs, and acquisitions from 1972 until 2008.

He was the founding curator of the Department of Photography in 1975, and directed and designed the major state-of-the art renovation of the galleries, study room, laboratory, and vaults in 1982. This model has since been copied throughout the world. In his administrative duties he has paid particular attention to the development of a strong program in photographic conservation, as well as the use of the collection in the study room, which came to have an attendance of about 2,000 people per year during his tenure.

A specialist in the modernist period, he has organized a number of significant shows and contributed scholarly essays to their catalogues, including Starting With Atget: Photographs from the Julien Levy Collection (1977), Photography Rediscovered: American Photographs1900-1930, André Kertész: Of Paris and New York (1985), On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography (1989), Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel (2001), Taken By Design: Photography from the Institute of Design 1937-1971 (2002), Yousuf Karsh: Regarding Heroes (2008). In addition to curating exhibitions on famous modernist photographers like Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Brassaï, he organized the first exhibition and catalogue on the work of the great 19th century master Gustave LeGray. He has also organized several exhibitions based on the collection which compare the work of different periods including contemporary work: Double Feature: Painting and Photography (1986), Distant Relations (1993), Moholy-Nagy and Present Company (1995), Crossing the Line: Photography Reconsidered (2000), Regarding Seas and Skies: Seascapes by Gustave LeGray, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Dodo Jin Ming (2003), and Field.wrk: Digital Ground by Irene Siegel (2004).

Although he has singly organized and presented over 125 exhibitions of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, he has also been active as a guest curator. His exhibitions have been shown at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Osaka, and for the Patrimoine Photographique of the French Ministry of Culture, which inducted him as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1987. In December of 2002, he was named a “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune Arts critics. A book of his lectures and essays was issued in 2003 by David R. Godine Publisher under the title: At the Edge of the Light: Thoughts on Photographers and Photography, on Talent and Genius.

He retired from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008 and immediately began teaching the history of photography at Columbia College Chicago where is currently an adjunct professor. He joined the Advisory Board of The 803 Foundation in 2015.


John Sylla, Director, The American Institute of Bisexuality, Los Angeles, CA