A day of public panels with contributors to the upcoming This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World exhibition-related catalogue. Scholars will speak about how museums are challenging, rethinking, and expanding traditional definitions of "American" art.
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 10:00 am–5:30 pm
"Complicating Histories: Curating Across Disciplinary Boundaries"
This Land is the Hood Museum's first exhibition to feature Native American art—both historical and contemporary—alongside its broader American art collection, and to intentionally contribute to emerging discourses about the boundaries of "American" art. Increasingly, museums are seeking to diversify their collections, exhibitions, and staffs and make them more inclusive, though very little has been published about the actual institutional and curatorial processes involved. This panel provides an opportunity to hear from curatorial collaborators who will share their experiences regarding the challenges and possibilities of this meaningful work.
Karen Kramer, Elizabeth and Stuart Pratt Curator of Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Austen Barron Bailly, Chief Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Janet Dees, Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
Alisa Swindell, Associate Curator of Photography, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College & Doctoral Candidate, University of Illinois Chicago
Moderators: Jami Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College and Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art, Dartmouth College & Doctoral Candidate, University of Delaware
"Reframing Collection Practices and Care"
As museums continue to revise and redefine their collecting priorities, this panel invites speakers to share how we can implement these practices in meaningful ways. How might a collecting and collections-care practice tend to both the past and the present? How does place impact the determination of institutional priorities? We invite this group of scholar-curators to join us and each other in thinking about the ethical considerations involved in identifying collection needs, boundaries, and possibilities.
Mindy Besaw, Curator, American Art & Director of Research, Fellowships and University Partnerships, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Anya Montiel, Curator, History and Culture, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institutions
Layla Bermeo, Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of American Paintings Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Royce Young Wolf, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in Native American Art and Curation
Moderator: Mary Coffey, Professor of Art History & Affiliated Faculty, Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies Program, Dartmouth College
"Redefining 'American' Art Across Disciplinary Boundaries"
Recent scholarship has challenged the assumed neutrality of the scholarly voice, especially in the construction of the "canon" of American art. Thinking about our own voices and multifaceted positionalities, this panel aims to reconsider the ways in which we define "American" art. How do we navigate historic and ongoing negotiations of who is "American" and the imposed absences that have partly defined that discussion? How do we teach American art in ways that speak to the past, present, and future? What possibilities do interdisciplinary approaches offer to the study and exhibition of artists and media traditionally left out of the art historical canon?
Kirsten Pai Buick, Professor of Art History & Director of Africana Studies, University of New Mexico
Yinshi Lerman-Tan, Bradford and Christine Mishler Associate Curator of American Art, The Huntington Library, Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Teresa Montoya, Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago
Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate in African Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College & Doctoral Candidate, Yale University
Moderator: Hazel Carby, Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor Emeritus of African American Studies, Yale University & Roth Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dartmouth College
Russo Atrium, Hood Museum of Art
AUSTEN BARRON BAILLY, PhD, is chief curator of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Bailly leads the curatorial and collections management teams and is a key member of the strategy team, overseeing curatorial endeavors, collection growth and preservation, and contributing to the development of new exhibitions and installations. Bailly joined Crystal Bridges in July 2019, following her six-year tenure as the George Putnam Curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts. There she developed the American art collection and program and developed and co-curated nationally touring exhibitions including American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood, American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals, and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle.
LAYLA BERMEO is the Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has held curatorial positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She has a BA from Northwestern University, an MA from Williams College, and she is a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University. At the MFA, Layla co-organized Collecting Stories: Native American Art, curated Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular, and developed the "Curatorial Study Hall" program for local teens. In 2019, WBUR, an National Public Radio news station, named Layla as one of the 25 millennials of color impacting Boston arts.
MINDY N. BESAW, PhD, is Director of Research, Fellowships, and University Partnerships and Curator, American Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, where she has been since 2014. Recent projects and exhibitions include: 2018 renovation and reinstallation of the Early American art galleries; co-curator of Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices 1950s to Now (2018); co-curator of Cross-Pollination: Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church and our Contemporary Moment (2020), and co-curator of Companion Species (2020). Besaw was previously curator of western American art at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY. She holds a Ph.D. in American Art History from the University of Kansas.
KIRSTEN PAI BUICK, PhD, is a Professor of Art History at the University of New Mexico and the inaugural Chair of the Department of Africana Studies. She specializes in the visual and material culture of the first British Empire; art of the U.S.; landscape representation; and African American art. Her book, Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History's Black and Indian Subject, is published by Duke. Her second book, In Authenticity: 'Kara Walker' and the Eidetics of Racism is in progress.
HAZEL CARBY, PhD, HonFLSW, FRSA, is the Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and Professor Emeritus of American Studies Yale University and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. She is currently a Visiting Research Professor & Humanities Institute Faculty at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Imperial Intimacies, A Tale of Two Islands (Verso, 2019), which was selected as one of the "Books of the Year for 2019," by the Times Literary Supplement. She is the winner of the British Academy's Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, 2020, and a finalist for the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize, ASA in 2020. Dr. Carby is the author of Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America (1999); Race Men (1998); Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist (1987); as well as the co-author of The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70s Britain (1982).
MARY COFFEY is a Professor of Art History and an affiliated professor with the Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies Program at Dartmouth. She has also taught specialized courses on public art, José Clemente Orozco, Fluxus, and museum practice, as well as the introductory surveys of Western Art History and contemporary art. Professor Coffey specializes in the history of modern Mexican visual culture, with an emphasis on Mexican muralism and the politics of exhibition. She also publishes in the fields of American art, Latin American cultural studies, and museum studies. She has published essays on a broad range of visual culture, from Mexican folk art to motorcycles to eugenics exhibitions. She studied art history and cultural studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before joining the faculty at Dartmouth she taught at Pomona College (1999–2001) and was a Faculty Fellow and Internship Coordinator at New York University's Graduate Program in Museum Studies (2001–2004). Click here to read more about Professor Coffey's work and publications.
JANET DEES is the Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University and holds affiliations with the Department of Art History and the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. Prior to her appointment at the Block in 2015, Dees was curator at SITE Santa Fe. She is the recipient of a 2018 Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support the development of the exhibition A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence (2022). Dees is editor of and contributor to the publications A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence (Block Museum of Art/Princeton University Press, 2022) and If You Remember, I'll Remember (Block Museum of Art/Northwestern University Press, forthcoming in 2022).
MORGAN E. FREEMAN is a doctoral student in American Studies. Her areas of concentration include the contemporary art and visual cultures of Black and Native practitioners. She is interested in this work as it relates to belonging, defining indigeneity, and place specificity. Morgan was previously the Native American Art Fellow (2018–20) at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, serving as co-curator for the exhibitions Form and Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, The Embodiment of Language, and This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in American studies.
MICHAEL HARTMAN joined the Hood Museum of Art as the Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art in September 2021. He holds a BA in art history and German from the University of Arkansas; an MA in the history of art from Williams College; and is completing his PhD in art history at the University of Delaware. His dissertation project, Art, Technology and Aesthetics within Landscapes of Enslavement in the Colonial South, 1740-1810, reflects his desire to critically reframe and redefine approaches to art made in North America. He has previously held positions at the Biggs Museum of American Art; the Clark Art Institute; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Winterthur Library, Museums, and Gardens.
KAREN KRAMER is the Elizabeth and Stuart Pratt Curator of Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM). Her longstanding commitment to presenting and interpreting Indigenous art and culture and her broad experiences working with Native artists, scholars, and has led to groundbreaking exhibitions and catalogues, including T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America, Native Fashion Now, and Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. Kramer also co-directs PEM's innovative Native American Fellowship program. Kramer served as President, Vice-President, and board member for the Native American Art Studies Association from 2003 to 2015. Kramer is currently a doctoral student in American Studies at Harvard University, where she focuses on arts-based critiques of settler colonialism, Indigenous arts and methodologies, and contemporary Native art and activism.
YINSHI LERMAN-TAN is the Bradford and Christine Mishler Associate Curator of American Art at the Huntington. She received her PhD in art history from Stanford University and BA in American studies from Yale University. Prior to joining the Huntington in 2021, she was a curator at the San Antonio Museum of Art, where she mounted exhibitions of Latin American, American, and modern and contemporary art. She has also held positions at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her work has been supported by the Douglass, the Andrew W. Mellon, and the Coates Foundations.
BARBARA MACADAM was the Jonathan Little Cohen Curator of American Art at the Hood Museum of Art from 1983 to 2021. During her tenure at Dartmouth, Barbara "Bonnie" MacAdam strengthened the museum's holdings of American art extensively, purchasing, for example, significant works by John James Audubon, Joseph Blackburn, Mary Cassatt, Maria Oakey Dewing, Harriet Hosmer, Eastman Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Man Ray, Willard Metcalf, James Peale, Lilly Martin Spencer, and Abbott Thayer. In addition to curating and coordinating dozens of exhibitions and installations, her major publications include Winter's Promise: Willard Metcalf in Cornish, New Hampshire, 1909–1920 (1999); Marks of Distinction: Two Hundred Years of American Drawing and Watercolors from the Hood Museum of Art (2005); and American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art (2007). Bonnie holds an MA in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York, and a BA in American studies from the University of Michigan.
THOMAS PRICE was the curatorial assistant for American art at the Hood Museum of Art between July 2018 and April 2021. While at the museum he assisted in permanent collection research and the development of future exhibitions. Before starting at the Hood, he worked as a curatorial intern at the Williams College Museum of Art, where he helped research and catalogue acquisitions and curated a small exhibitions of alumni donations. He is also one of the curators of the exhibition This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World. Thomas is currently a doctoral student in the department of Art History at the University of Delaware with an interest in nineteenth– and early twentieth–century American art and visual culture; landscape representation; ecocriticism. He holds a masters in the history of art from Williams College.
ALISA SWINDELL is an art historian specializing in the history of photography with a focus on race and sexuality. Most recently she was a curatorial research associate at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. She has been an independent curator, a Romare Bearden Minority Graduate Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and a Dangler Intern and curatorial researcher in the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Photography. She is completing her Ph.D. in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in gender and women's studies; she holds MAs from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of New Orleans as well as a BA from Bryn Mawr College.
ALEXANDRA M. THOMAS is the 2021–23 curatorial research \associate in African art at the Hood Museum. She is completing her PhD in African American Studies and the history of art with a certificate in women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Yale University and has worked at the Yale University Art Gallery since 2018. Thomas is utilizing her dissertation research on Black feminism, queer theory, and global African art to explore the rich cultural heritage of the African continent and its diaspora that is housed in Dartmouth's permanent collection.
ANYA MONTIEL, PhD is a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Previously she was Curator of American and Native American Women's Art and Craft, a joint position between the Renwick Gallery and the National Museum of the American Indian and funded by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. She received her doctorate and master's degrees in American Studies from Yale University and holds bachelor's degrees in Native American Studies and anthropology from the University of California at Davis.
TERESA MONTOYA, PhD is the Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago. Dr. Montoya is a social scientist and media maker trained in socio-cultural anthropology, critical Indigenous studies, and filmmaking. Her current manuscript project, Permeable: Diné Politics of Extraction and Exposure, approaches territorial dispossession and environmental contamination in and around the Navajo Nation as pervasive features of contemporary Indigenous life. Drawing from Diné (Navajo) oral histories and ethnographic research, her project engages local modes of relating, both in its political and kinship imaginings, to understand the entanglements of railroad "checkerboard" land allotment and contestations over sovereignty and jurisdiction among Diné communities of present-day northern Arizona and New Mexico in relation to these toxic legacies. In doing so, she develops the analytic of permeability to reimagine how historical land dispossession and violence in the Indigenous Southwest converges with contemporary issues of environmental regulation, Diné political mobilization, and public health. This project has been generously supported by funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the American Philosophical Society. Click here to read more about Dr. Montoya.
JAMI POWELL, PhD is Curator of Indigenous Art at the Hood Museum of Art. Dr. Powell was initially hired in May 2018, as the Hood's first associate curator of Native American art. She was promoted to curator of Indigenous art in May 2021. Powell, a citizen of the Osage Nation, has a PhD in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to working at the Hood she was a faculty lecturer in the American Studies Program at Tufts University. She has focused her research on American Indian expressive forms through an interdisciplinary lens. She has worked as a research assistant at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, was a Mellon Fellow at the Peabody Essex Museum, and has published widely, with articles in Museum Anthropology, Journal of Anthropological Research, Museum Management and Curatorship, Museum Magazine, and First American Art Magazine.
ROYCE K. YOUNG WOLF, is a Hiraacá (Hidatsa), Nu'eta (Mandan), and Sosore (Eastern Shoshone) mother, language activist, curator, artist, photographer, and poet. She is a member of the Ihdisúhga (Wide Ridge) Clan and is a child of the Abhúhgawigaa (Low Cap) Clan, with ancestral Apsáalooke (Crow) and Nʉmʉnʉʉ (Comanche) Penateka (Honey Eaters) band kinship. She is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in Native American Art and Curation and Yale University Presidential Visiting Fellow for the Department of History of Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. Her work prioritizes context-based reinterpretations and representations of Indigenous traditional/contemporary art forms.
This convening is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.