News and Events
In September 2016, two new Faculty Fellows joined the Program in Museum Studies. Rosanna N. Flouty holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education from CUNY Graduate Center (2016), M.A. in Art and Design Education from Rhode Island School of Design (2001), and a B.A. in Art History from Emory University (1997). Her research interests focus on contemporary art, museum practice technology, informal and online education. Marissa H. Petrou received a Ph.D. (2016) and M.A. (2009) in History from University of California Los Angeles, and B.A. in History and German Language and Literature from Northwestern University (2005). Her research interests include history of science, technology and medicine; history of collections and display; museums and empire; visual and material culture of science; history of race and ethnicity in the arts and social sciences.
In September 2014, Jane Anderson joined the Program as a new Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Museum Studies. Jane Anderson holds a Ph.D. in Law from the University of New South Wales, Sydney (2004), B.A. with Honors from the University of Sydney (1998), and B.A. in Cultural Studies and Philosophy from the University of Sydney (1997). Currently, she is involved in several collaborative projects: Local Contexts/Traditional Knowledge Licenses and Labels; Laboratory for Transformative Practice in Anthropology; The Utility and Life of Cultural Protocols/Bridging Historical Exclusions and Building Future Relationships.
Glenn Wharton was named the recipient of the 2014 College Art Association and Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation. He was described by CAA as "an outstanding archaeological conservator, a sensitive conservator of outdoor sculpture, and a leader in the conservation of contemporary art and time-based art." This annual award was initiated in 1990 to recognize an outstanding contribution for enhancing understanding of art through the application of knowledge and experience in conservation, art history, and art. (http://www.heritagepreservation.org/awards/caa.htm)
In April 2013 Dr. Bruce Altshuler published Biennials and Beyond: Exhibitions that Made Art History, 1962-2002 (Phaidon Press). The book was launched with a panel discussion on exhibition history at MoMA/PS1, and with a lecture by Dr. Altshuler at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. In July, he delivered a series of lectures in Moscow on the history of exhibitions and contemporary curating at the Moscow Curatorial Summer School, and participated in a think tank on ethnographic exhibitions at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt. In the summer 2013 issue of Art in America, Altshuler published an article on the significance of exhibitions within contemporary art history, and in fall 2013 he is speaking at the Frieze Art Fair in London, the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal, and the New York Studio School. In spring 2014 Altshuler will give a series of lectures at Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, and will lecture at the Museum Sztuki in Lodz, Poland.
Dr. Miriam Basilio (joint appointment in the department of Art History with Museum Studies) was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor effective September 1, 2013. She is on sabbatical leave for academic year 2013-14, working on her second book which focuses on the role of Alfred Barr in defining the "problematic term 'Latin-American art'" through his particular strategies of collection and display at The Museum of Modern Art. Earlier this year, Miriam Basilio lectured on "The Evolving Latin American Canon" at the Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), in a two-day international symposium, From the Other Shore: Narratives and Perspectives on Spanish & Latin American Art. The symposium, which took place on May 1-2, 2013, was organized to "analyze the various ways in which ideas and perceptions about Spanish and Latin American art have evolved in the last decades..." Here is the full program of the symposium; Professor Basilio's talk and the Q&A session afterward are here and here. She also gave a presentation at the Encuentros trasatlánticos: discursos vanguardistas en España y Latinoamérica, held at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain) in July. Professor Basilio also lectured at the Institute of Fine Arts in October. Her talk "The Evolving Canon: Latin American Art at MoMA, 1945-55" was part of the Institute's Latin American Forum. In November 2013 she will lecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Glenn Wharton left his position as Media Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art last summer to accept a Clinical Associate professorship in Museum Studies, effective July 1, 2013. He continues to serve on the board of the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art -- North America (INCCA-NA), and as advisor to NYU's Grey Art Gallery and other arts organizations. He organized a roundtable discussion at NYU in October 2013 on Archiving Performance Art for the Future with artist Lorraine O'Grady, and spoke at the University of North Carolina on Collaborative Heritage Preservation with Descendant Communities. In November 2011, Professor 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.
In December 2015 Dr. Jane Anderson received an NEH grant from the Division of Preservation and Access (Research and Development). The $320,000 grant provides 3 years of funding for Local Contexts 2.0: Implementing the Traditional Knowledge Labels (www.localcontexts.org). The project involves the development of a set of protocols, standards, tools, and resources relating to digital curation and stewardship of Indigenous cultural heritage that would assist non-Native collecting institutions and local Native American communities to enhance access and management of knowledge about humanities collections.
Dr. Bruce Altshuler’s research over the past decade culminated in the spring 2013 publication of the second of his two-volume documentary history of modern and contemporary art exhibitions, Biennials and Beyond: Exhibitions that Made Art History, 1962-2002. (The first volume, Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History, 1863-1959, received the 2009 Bannister Fletcher Award.) He continues his work on exhibition history with an essay on forms of curatorial innovation around the idea of the exhibition site, which will appear in a book on that topic to be published by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.
Dr. Miriam Basilio completed her first book, Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions, and The Spanish Civil War, that will be published in January 2014 by Ashgate Press. Prof. Basilio's recent articles include: (1) The "Exhibition of Government Posters" (1937) en The Museum of Modern Art: Carteles republicanos cómo modelos de diseño vanguardista y de efectividad pedagógica, in Miguel Cabañas Bravo and Wifredo Rincón, eds. El arte y sus redes de proyección, circulación y estudio en los siglos XX y XXI. (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, forthcoming); (2) "Esto lo vio Picasso: Goya, los grabados satiricos, el realismo, y la propaganda republicana en guerra, Manuel Borja-Villel and Rosario Peiro eds. Años Treinta: Teatro de la Crueldad, lugar de encuentro (Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2013); (3) "Equipo Crónica: Art History, Narrative Figuration, and Critical Realism," in Robert Lubar and Dolores Jiménez Blanco, Eds. Transatlantic Dialogues (forthcoming).
Dr. Glenn Wharton's current research includes technical documentation of software-based art, and "crowd documentation" models for contemporary art in museums. 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 across Europe.
In the Fall of 2016, the Program in Museum Studies inaugurated the Research Travel Grant for MA students at the thesis writing stage of their degree. The grant committee was happy to be able to fund travel research for five different travel projects. The grant recipients include:
Tirzah Jane Baker, Alternative Art Space to Museum, An Evolutionary Analysis: MoMA Ps1 and the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art;
Joana Valsassina Heitor, The Architecture Exhibition as a Spacial Argument;
Kathryn Tully Johnson, Occupying the Gallery: Preparing Institutions for Unsanctioned Events;
Youxuan (Karen) Li, Next to Burberry a Monet: Shopping Malls as Exhibitionary Complexes in Postmodern China;
Sara Mauldin Lowenburg, A Space to Heal: Programs Supporting Health and Community among Veterans with PTS and TBI in Museums.
In the Spring of 2015, the Anthropology in and of Museums class, led by Dr. Sabra Thorner, developed a formal, academic review of the Journal of Western Archives (2015) special issue on Native American archives. A central component of students' assessment for the class, this collaboration was a way of extending students' learning on the complexity on Indigenous peoples' relationships with collecting institutions (including museums, libraries, and archives); as well as their thinking about the significance and urgency of digital repatriation and return. Participants included: Caitlin Gilroy, Hannah Hoose, Juliana Larrosa, and Jon Stachiw from Museum Studies; and Olivia Vincelli and Kendra Welsh from the Draper Program. Read the review here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bedwoWSfQp8KCRgjNN0hiCeeR1eeEvkyxTpDzQu4sH4/edit.
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: http://www.nyu.edu/alumni.magazine/issue15/15_square_Triangle.html.
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.