News and Events
Museum Studies Fall 2011 Speaker Series
Suzanne Cotter -- Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.
Curator, Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
De-Centering the Museum
Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, Room 300
Erin Coburn -- Monday, October 24, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.
Chief Officer of Digital Media, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Digital Culture and Art Museums - Diversifying Access and Engagement
Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, Room 300
Co-Sponsored by the Program in Museum Studies and the Department of Media, Culture and Communication
Lonnie G. Bunch, III -- Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.
Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Challenge of Building a National Museum
100 Washington Square East, Hemmerdinger Hall
Co-sponsored by the Program in Museum Studies, Archives/Public History, Africana Studies, the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and the Africa-Diaspora Forum of the History Department
John Haworth -- Monday, November 14, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.
Director, National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center
The National Museum of the American Indian after 9/11:
Lessons Learned in Cultural Representation, Civic Engagement and Reconciliation
Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, Room 301
Co-Sponsored by the Program in Museum Studies, the Native Studies Forum, and the Department of Anthropology
In November 2011, Dr. Glenn Wharton published The Painted
King: Art, Activism, & Authenticity in Hawai’i with the
University of Hawai’i Press. The book chronicles his community-based
conservation of a public monument in North Kohala, Hawai’i. The project was a
model for using the conservation process as a tool for excavating public memory
and stimulating critical thinking
about the past. It is based on ethnographic research and public engagement in
which local residents participated in research, decision-making, and
conservation intervention of the famous sculpture of King Kamehameha I. Through
dialogue and community activities, new relationships with the material past
were forged while negotiating its physical representation.
On November 13, 2010, Dr. Geismar gave a tour of the Rockefeller Wing at the Metropolitan Museum in association with the group Saving Antiquities for Everyone (www.savingantiquities.org). She talked about the museum's history of collection and display of Pacific artifacts and traced the background of the Rockefeller Collection. She also provided a background to the tribal art market and discussed the way it works and the impact it has had on local cultures. This history was juxtaposed with the ways in which museums in the Pacific now grapple with the legacy of ethnographic collection and the wholesale loss of artifacts to museums in far away places. She covered recent controversies in cultural property claims and illegal trade in Pacific artifacts and mused on possible strategies for museums to ethically negotiate this terrain. The tour is open to the public: http://www.savingantiquities.org/whatwedosafetoursGeismar.php
On October 25, 2010, Dr. Wharton participated in a panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art with artist John Gerrard and curator Barbara London. John Gerrard presented his recent work in real-time 3D. Glenn Wharton and Barbara London then discussed the technical production and conservation implications of his computer-generated moving images. The event was co-sponsored by the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art - North America (INCCA-NA) and Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP). As part of MoMA's Modern Mondays series, details can be found at their website: http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/560.
In September 2010 two new Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellows joined the Program in Museum Studies. Victoria E. M. Cain holds a Ph.D. in United States history from Columbia University (2007) and a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University (1997). Victoria Cain has recently completed a book manuscript, co-authored with historian of science Karen Rader, on twentieth century natural history and science museums. Currently, she is working on two new book projects: a history of the roles that pictures and picturing technologies have played in American schools in the twentieth century, and a history of corporate art patronage. Hima B. Mallampati holds a Ph.D. in classical art and archaeology from University of Michigan (2010); a J.D. from Stanford University (2001); and a B.A. in art history and classics from the University of Pennsylvania (1997).
Dr. Bruce Altshuler was awarded the 2010 Dedalus Foundation Senior Fellowship to support research on Volume 2 of his book Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History (Phaidon Press). The first volume, covering 1863-1959, received the 2009 Sir Banister Fletcher Award from the Authors' Club in London for the year's best art or architecture book, and was identified as one of the outstanding art books of 2008 by the art critics of The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday Times (London), and The Economist. In spring 2010 Dr. Altshuler spoke at the Festival of Contemporary Art in Faenza, Italy, and in the graduate lecture series at Villa La Pietra, Florence, Italy. His article "Pictures in a Lamp Shop," analyzing the only photograph of the 1906 exhibition of the Die Brucke group in Dresden, Germany, will be published this fall in Tate Etc., the magazine of Tate Gallery, London.
In 2011 Dr. Wharton published a co-edited
volume titled Inside Installations: Theory and Practice in the Care of
Complex Artworks with Amsterdam University Press. This book is a
compilation of articles generated from a European project to document
installation art in museums. It was organized by the International Network for
the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA) and cultural organizations
throughout Europe. The book addresses questions such as how to define and
preserve the artist’s intention while changing materials and technologies from
one installation to the next. Questions of authenticity and intentionality are
addressed through theoretical writing and case study analysis from museums
Dr. Miriam Basilio is currently working on two books, Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions, and the Spanish Civil War and The Evolving Canon: Displaying Latin American Art at The Museum of Modern Art, 1945-2004. Recent articles include "Picasso's Sueno y Mentira de Franco: A Response to Franco's Propaganda" to be published in the Museu Picasso Barcelona catalogue of the exhibition Picasso, Vinetas de batalla, and "Museums for the People: David Seymour's Photographs of The Duque of Alba's Palace in Madrid, 1936," in the International Center of Photogrpahy exhibition (currently on view) The Mexican Suitcase. She will present a paper, "The question of Audience Reception and the Construction of a Cult of Personality for Francisco Franco" at the conference, The Personality Cults of Modern Dictators, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London in October.
Dr. Haidy Geismar's book Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork and Photography on Malakula, (http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/shopcore/978-0-8248-3503-3/ ) has just been published by Hawaii University Press. The book, based on archival and field research conducted over nearly ten years, traces the social life of a collection of anthropological photographs from the time that they were made in Vanuatu (then New Hebrides) in 1914 through to the present days. The images have returned repeatedly to the communities over the past century and provide a fascinating case study into the shared histories that photography can inculcate and the role that museums play in not only documenting but forging new ideas about cultural identity and the past.
In the Fall of 2012, NYU students in Museum Studies, Public History, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies joined over 100 others from 12 universities around the country to create the Guantanamo Public Memory Project. The Project sought to raise public awareness of the long history of the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay and foster dialogue on the future of this place, its people, and its policies. Students collaborated with their peers in other communities and with people who experienced GTMO directly to curate a traveling exhibit, digital history, and interactive map. The exhibit opened in the Kimmel Windows December 13, 2012, and is scheduled to travel around the country through 2015 to venues such as the Minnesota History Center and the California Museum of Photography. NYU students were also trained in dialogue design and facilitation by leaders of the New York Council of the Humanities' Community Conversations program, and developed dialogue kits that each new host of the exhibit can use to facilitate discussion in their community. Throughout the process, students helped each other grapple with the museological challenges of the Project by exchanging ideas and perspectives with other schools through the Project's blog and through video conferences. NYU students in Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires will participating in future phases of the Project over the next two years.
Museum Studies students were part of the founding of the NYC Department
of Sanitation Oral History Archive which was formally launched on May
11, 2011. As part of a class entitled Oral History, Labors of Waste, and the Value of Knowledge,
taught by Prof. Robin Nagle, students created a digital archive of oral
histories of DSNY employees and were trained in oral history theory,
method and practice. This builds off of a previous class, also taught
with museum studies (Dr. Haidy Geismar & Dr. Robin Nagle, Fall
2007), which began recording Sanitation histories and experiences.
The archive can be accessed here: http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/.
In the fall of 2010, Museum Studies and Public History MA students worked collaboratively with the Grey Art Gallery to curate an exhibition commemorating the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Asch Building which is now known as the Brown Building, part of New York University’s Silver Center complex. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was located on the 8th floor, and the fire prevented access to the stairway, though some got through. Others climbed out the windows; many leapt to their deaths. In all, 147 young women garment workers perished, mostly daughters of the Jewish families from the nearby Lower East Side, but many also were from Italian families. APH and Museum Studies students worked collaboratively with two instructors: Dr. Marci Reaven, an urban historian and Director of City Lore/Place Matters; and Dr. Lucy Oakley, Head of Education and Programs at the Grey Art Gallery. Students conducted research on the exhibition, worked with exhibition planners and designers in order to curate and create the show, and had the opportunity to participate in the actual installation. Students researched the event, focusing especially on the ways in which the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire has been remembered, commemorated and, in some cases, forgotten over time. They worked in archives and museums in New York City to select artworks and other materials for the show. They wrote the exhibition and publicity texts and were active in co-curating the exhibition. Students immersed themselves in the theoretical literature involving memorialization, commemoration, and visual culture. The exhibition was on view from January 11 through March 26 and from April 12 through July 9, 2011, and was accompanied by numerous public programs throughout the university and beyond. Museum Studies students also assisted in the construction of a permanent memorial in the Brown Building, on the former shirt of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
To read about student experiences in this class and exhibition, please visit a blogpost created by Alana Rosen: http://tenement-museum.blogspot.com/2011/03/artmemoryplace-commemorating-triangle.html.
To read about other NYU projects commemorating the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, please follow this link to the Campus History section of the NYU Alumni Magazine:
Students in Glenn Wharton's seminar on The Challenge of Installation Art (Spring 2010) interviewed artists William Kentridge and Paul Chan as part of their course research. Dr. Wharton is the time-based media conservator at MoMA as well as being on faculty in Museum Studies. He frequently works with students on research he is engaged with at the museum. The artist interviews coincided with a current exhibit of William Kentridge at MoMA, and the recent acquisition of archival materials from Paul Chan's staging of Waiting for Godot in post-Katrina New Orleans. Chan was interviewed about the translation of a street theater project into a museum installation.
As an assignment, each student in the class Anthropology in and of Museums (taught by Dr. Haidy Geismar at the NYU Program in Museum Studies in Spring 2009) was given an image to research in the Special collections of the American Museum of Natural History. Students were encouraged to think at first purely from the image: what could they learn not only from the content of the image, but the way in which it has been annotated, catalogued, curated, and archived. Following these leads, each student conducted original, collections-based research into their images. The results can be found here: http://blogs.nyu.edu/blogs/hg26/amnhphotographs/.
A review of the exhibition "Indigenous Motivations: Recent Acquisitions from the National Museum of the American Indian," written collaboratively by students in Haidy Geismar's spring 2007 class "Topics in Museums Studies: Anthropology in and of Museums" (G49.3330), was published October 3, 2007 in the online edition of Museum Anthropology Review.