2011 AAMG Annual Conference

Who’s Muse? Challenges to the Curatorial Profession in Academic Museums

May 21, 2011
Blaffer Art Museum
University of Houston
Houston, TX

Curatorial practices in academic museums and galleries are notably diverse. The organization of exhibitions often engages faculty members from diverse fields of study, graduate as well as undergraduate students, education department staff, librarians, and even area school teachers and children. Exhibitions thus generated offer unorthodox approaches to curatorial projects. Likewise they stretch disciplinary boundaries, cross-fertilize disciplinary methodologies, and generate wholly new paradigms for knowledge. Our academic museums and galleries thus become great centers of original research, interdisciplinary dialogue, and participatory learning.

While this democratic and laboratory approach to curatorial practice contributes in significant ways to the groundbreaking research missions of our universities and colleges, it can also challenge conventional standards of the curatorial profession. The 2011 AAMG Annual Conference will explore the pros and cons of the broad curatorial approaches found in academic museums and galleries through the presentation of outstanding case studies and lively roundtable discussions.



This year, the AAMG will include a late-morning, lunch-period session on current topics in the field of academic museums and galleries. Submit ideas for HOT TOPICS with your AAMG Conference Registration, VOTE, and select a HOT TOPIC Table for lunchtime conversation.

Conference Agenda

Transportation via bus departs from Conference Center (details to follow!)

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.
Late Registration & Coffee Hour

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks
Claudia Schmuckli, Director and Chief Curator, Blaffer Art Museum
Brent Tharp, Vice-President, AAMG

9:30 – 9:50 a.m.
AAMG Updates and Opening Remarks
David Alan Robertson, President, AAMG

9:50 – 11:10 a.m.
Paper Presentations

The Giuseppe Vasi Project
James Gordon Harper, Associate Professor of Art History, and Jill Hartz, Executive Director, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon

Mining the Collection: Layered Histories
Carin Jacobs, Director, Center for the Arts, Religion and Education, and Doug Adams Gallery, Graduate Theological Union

Whose Muse? Web, Media, Popular Culture
N. Elizabeth Schlatter, University of Richmond Museums, Virginia

11:10 – 11:20 a.m.

11:20 – 11:45 a.m.
Hot Topics Proposals and Vote

Noon – 1:45 p.m.
Roundtable Hot Topics Luncheon

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Roundtable Sessions

From the Classroom to the Gallery: Two Student Curators’ Perspectives
Anna-Claire Stinebring & Franny Brock, Curatorial Assistants, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

A Successful and Groundbreaking Curatorial Project at Middlebury College involving lay-curators, i.e. undergraduate students
Emmie Donadio, Ph.D., Chief Curator, Middlebury College Museum of Art

Student Curating Across Venues: The Yale University Art Gallery and the David C. Driskell Center Collaborate on an Exhibition of African American Art
Pamela Franks, Deputy Director for Collections and Education, Yale University Art Gallery

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Roundtable Sessions

Freedom and Authority in the Museum: Academic Exploration in a Public Context
Jessica Hunter-Larsen, Curator of Interdisciplinary Arts, Colorado College;
Jane Murphy, Professor of History, Colorado College

Architects, Engineers, Motorcycle Tank Artists and Underground Cartoonists: The Pros and Cons of working with Academia Co-curators Versus Lay Co-curators versus Professional Curators
Sam Yates, Director, Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture, University of Tennessee

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Optional Guided Tours of Outdoor Art Collection

4:15 – 4:45 p.m.
Conference Wrap-up

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Cocktail Reception

6:30 p.m.
Bus departs for Conference Center Hotel

AAMG thanks the following sponsors of the 2011 Conference