Robert Doty (1933-1992) was a museum curator and director from Rochester, New York.
Doty received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1956 and an M.A. from the University of Rochester in 1961, where he studied the history of photography. In Rochester, he also worked at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography, organizing exhibitions of the work of Lewis Hine (1957), the Photo-Secession (1960) and Bill Brandt (1962). Other positions Doty held include research assistant at the Victoria and Albert Museum, (1961-1962); assistant to the director at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, (1963-1964); and assistant to the director at the Yale University Art Gallery, (1964-1965.
Doty became associate curator of the Whitney Museum in 1966, and curator in 1970, and organized several high-profile exhibitions. These included the Whitney's first historical survey of American photography in 1974 and Contemporary Black Artists in America (1971), which generated controversy when 15 of the 75 artists withdrew to protest that Black specialists had not been consulted about selections for the exhibition. Doty left the Whitney in 1974 to become director of the Akron Art Institute until 1977. From 1977 until his retirement in 1987 Doty was director of the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. He subsequently worked part time as the acting director of the New England College Gallery in Henniker, New Hampshire.
During his time at the Akron Art Institute and the Currier Gallery Doty dedicated significant energy and interest towards American folk art, organizing respective exhibitions at both museums: American Folk Art in Ohio Collections (1976) and By Good Hands: New Hampshire Folk Art(1989). His papers reflect this extensive research and interest. Over the course of his career Doty maintained several enduring relationships with other prominent curators and directors such as Grace M. Mayer and Beaumont Newhall. Doty also dedicated his time to several consulting projects with institutions and corporations including the Empire State building's art commission, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the National Endowment for the Arts, and the XEROX Corporation, and wrote and edited several exhibition essays, catalogs, and books, including books on the Photo-Secession, American photography, and the artists Will Barnet and Lewis Hine.