Programs and Events Past Professional Conferences
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Panel Discussion
AFA ArtViews “The Art Market and the Museum: New Realities in Public Collecting”

Monday, April 28, 2014
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1
4–6 p.m panel discussion; 6–8 p.m. reception

Much has changed over the last generation in how museums collect. Federal legislation has all but eliminated fractional giving of art, soaring prices have reduced purchasing power, contemporary art is often evanescent and uncollectable, and private museums have redirected gifts and bequests away from public art museums. Moderated by Lindsay Pollock, Editor in Chief of Art in America, this panel of distinguished experts considered these shifts, and discussed how museums can hope to compete and continue to build their collections in this changing environment.

Panelists
Barbara Gladstone, Owner, Gladstone Gallery
Arnold Lehman, Director, Brooklyn Museum
Scott Rothkopf, Nancy and Steve Crown Family Curator and Associate Director of Programs, Whitney Museum of American Art
Thaddeus J. Stauber, Head of Nixon Peabody's Art & Cultural Institutions Practice

“The Art Market and the Museum: New Realities in Public Collecting” was organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Leadership Nouveau conference presented by HEC Montréal and the Association of Art Museum Directors Generous funding was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, and David Teiger. Corporate sponsorship was provided by Sotheby's. Media sponsorship was provided by artnet.

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Panel Discussion
AFA ArtViews “Cultural Districts: A Rising Tide”

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art
1717 North Harwood, Dallas, TX
4–5:30 p.m panel discussion; 5:30–7 p.m. reception

Moderated by Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, this panel focused on the international urban movement that fuses city planning initiatives with the development and construction of municipal cultural entities. This new model for economic and cultural development has spawned freshly conceived cultural districts that combined represent some $250 billion in current investment, with more than 100 such districts rising from the ground or in the planning stages around the globe

Panelists
Adrian Ellis, Director, AEA Consulting
Katie Dixon, Director of Special Projects, Brooklyn Academy of Music
Kevin Moriarty, Artistic Director, Dallas Theater Center
Susan Taylor, the Montine McDaniel Freeman Director, New Orleans Museum of Art

“Cultural Districts: A Rising Tide" was organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Business Council for the Arts. Generous funding for this program was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Corporate sponsorship was provided by Christie's and The Fairmont Dallas. Media sponsorship was provided by artnet.

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AFA China Day

Friday, May 24, 2013

In conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association of Museums), the AFA planned a resoundingly successful day of activities in New York for participants of the AAM’s China Program, the largest U.S.–China museum professional exchange program. The AFA-organized China Day in New York, which followed on from AAM meeting in Baltimore, included visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Morgan Library and Collection. A networking luncheon was also part of the day, and offered Chinese delegates the opportunity to learn more about U.S. museums and traveling exhibition practices and to meet potential exhibition partners.

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Panel Discussion
AFA ArtViews “Art Museum Blockbusters: Myths, Facts, and Their Future”

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Celeste Bartos Theater at the Museum of Modern Art
4 West 54th Street, New York
4–6 p.m. panel discussion; 6–7 p.m. reception

This panel discussion was part of the AFA’s series ArtViews—lively discussions on critical issues in the museum world. The sold-out event was moderated by Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and an AFA trustee, who also moderated the first ArtViews panel, “Art Museum Funding at the Crossroads.”

Mr. Anderson led four distinguished panelists in a wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussion about the pros and cons of blockbuster exhibitions and the impact they have on the museums that present them. Issues they touched on included: the true costs of such exhibitions; the connection between “hit shows” and museum membership; the effect of large loan exhibitions on traditional relationships among museums; the educational value of crowd-pleasing shows for the general public; and the blockbuster’s ongoing viability, especially in financially troubled times. 

Panelists:
Aaron Betsky: Director, Cincinnati Art Museum
Nathalie Bondil: Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 
Glenn D. Lowry: Director, The Museum of Modern Art
Jennifer Russell: Associate Director for Exhibitions, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

“Art Museum Blockbusters: Myths, Facts, and Their Future” was organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Arts and Business Council of New York and the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Lead corporate sponsorship for this program was provided by Sotheby’s.

Generous funding was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, with additional support from David Teiger and an anonymous donor.

Event Photos

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Panel Discussion
AFA ArtViews—“Art Museum Funding at the Crossroads”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Celeste Bartos Theater at the Museum of Modern Art
4 West 54th Street, New York
4–6 p.m. panel discussion; 6–7 p.m. reception

This panel discussion was part of the AFA’s exciting new series ArtViews—lively discussions on critical issues in the museum world.

Moderator Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and an AFA trustee, led panelists in a discussion of the means by which art museums will support themselves in the coming years. Since the advent of the blockbuster exhibition in the 1970s, art museums have turned increasingly to earned revenue to bolster their conventional reliance on contributed revenue and endowment. This shift has led to venture philanthropy, cultural tourism, entrepreneurial business plans, licensing, corporate collaboration, and other innovative strategies.

Panelists:
James L. Bildner: Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
Thomas P. Campbell: Director and CEO, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Melissa Chiu: Director, Asia Society Museum in New York, and Senior Vice President for Global Arts and Cultural Programs, Asia Society
Mariët Westermann: Vice President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Ari Wiseman: Deputy Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

“Art Museum Funding at the Crossroads” is organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Arts & Business Council of New York and the Association of Art Museum Directors with funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation and the Hazen Polsky Foundation, Inc.


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Panel Discussion
"Shifting Challenges in the Protection of Archaeological Heritage"

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Duke House, Institute of Fine Arts, 1 East 78th Street, New York
4–6 p.m. panel discussion; 6–7 p.m. reception

Moderator Maxwell L. Anderson, the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, led the panelists listed below in an exploration of the complex issues surrounding the protection of cultural heritage. Anderson has promoted long-term loans of antiquities from museums throughout Europe and in Mexico since becoming a museum director in 1987 and was knighted in 1990 by the Italian Republic for his efforts to protect its archaeological heritage.


Elizabeth Bartman: President of the Archaeological Institute of America and an independent scholar.
Patty Gerstenblith: Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law at DePaul University College of Law; and Chairman of the United States Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC).
Dan L. Monroe: Executive Director and CEO of the Peabody Essex Museum and President of the Association of Art Museum Directors.
David O’Connor: Deputy Director and Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art at the Institute of Fine Arts–New York University and Co-Director of Yale University-University of Pennsylvania-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Excavations at Abydos.
Jerry Podany: Head of the Department of Antiquities Conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum and President of the International Institute for Conservation.

“Shifting Challenges in the Protection of Archaeological Heritage” is organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Institute of Fine Arts–New York University and the Association of Art Museum Directors with generous funding from Michael H. Steinhardt, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation, and the Hazen Polsky Foundation, Inc.


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ArtMatters 2005
Museum Collections Today—
Acquisitions and Deaccessioning

November 6–8, 2005

Open to all museum professionals, this conference addressed the key issues facing museums in today's dynamic environment. Among the topics discussed were the unprecedented competition museums face in acquiring the best works by contemporary artists in an overheated market; the challenge for an institution in acquiring both a private collection and the environment created for it; the respective roles of curators and art dealers in discovering and promoting new artists; the ripple effect of major acquisitions on institutional mission and programming; and deaccessioning in a difficult economic climate. Speakers included museum directors, curators, dealers, artists, collectors, and other prominent art world figures. For a full list of speaker and topics, download the conference program.

The American Federation of Arts gratefully acknowledges those who have generously supported ArtMatters 2005:

Program Support

Antenna Audio
Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Foundation, Inc.

Event Sponsorship

Christie's (evening reception)
Henderson Phillips Fine Arts Insurance (coffee reception)

The AFA would also like to extend a special thank you to the Dahesh Museum of Art, El Museo del
Barrio, and the Jewish Museum for hosting the conference.

Signature Buildings

March 24, 2004

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, New York, NY
With Aaron Betsky, Director, Netherlands Architecture Institute; Zaha Hadid, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects; and Daniel Libeskind, Principal, Studio Daniel Libeskind
Moderated by Joseph Giovannini, architect and architecture critic, New York magazine

Presented by the American Federation of Arts and co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University.


Chola Bronzes

March 2003

The AFA, in collaboration with the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, hosted a symposium in conjunction with The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India, a groundbreaking exhibition—the first in the West devoted to the art of Chola bronzes—featuring ninth-to-thirteenth-century temple bronzes from South India. Moderated by Guest Curator Vidya Dehejia, former Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the symposium examined the context of bronzes in ancient temple ritual, as well as in the contemporary festival cycle. The speakers included Padma Kaimal, Leslie C. Orr, Indira Viswanathan Peterson, and Joanne Punzo Waghorne, accomplished scholars in the fields of Indian studies, religion, and art history.

Shiva as Nataraja, Chola period, ca. 1100
Bronze, 35 inches
Dallas Museum of Art; Gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamilton Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley
 
 

Transcript

 


Directors Forum

Designed to foster a dialogue among art museum directors around the country and internationally, the Directors Forum provides a unique opportunity for museum directors to meet colleagues, share ideas, and discuss topics of vital concern to the profession. Since its inauguration by the AFA in 1994, the conference has drawn more than 800 museum directors.

Event Pictures

Transcripts

Directors Forum 2004
Museum Architecture (March 29-31, 2004)

Directors Forum 2001
(November 4-6, 2001)

Directors Forum 2000
Tried and True/Unknown and New: Forging a Dialogue
(November 5-7, 2000)
Transcript

Directors Forum 1999
Directors Choice
(November 7-9, 1999)
Transcript

Directors Forum 1998
A Unique Perspective: Exploring the Big Impact of Small Museums
(November 8-10, 1998)
Transcript

Directors Forum 1997
Getting Down to Business: Art Museums in a Market Environment
(November 9-11, 1997)
Transcript

Directors Forum 1996
Cross Currents: Navigating the Perils and Pleasures of Leadership
(November 10-12, 1996)

Directors Forum 1995
Facing the Present: Rising Expectations and Diminishing Resources
(November 12-14, 1995)

Directors Forum 1994
Facing the Future: New Leadership Challenges for Art Museum Directors (November 10-12, 1994)


Curators Forum

Curators Forum is an annual conference for art museum curators and invited distinguished professionals in the art world and related fields. The program was conceived in response to the need for museum curators to have a forum to discuss topical issues and professional concerns. The first Curators Forum was held in 2001 and was followed by programs in 2002 and 2003.
The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) has begun developing its own programming and broadening its constituency. At this point we are confident that the programmatic and networking needs of art museum curators will be addressed by the AAMC, and we have therefore decided to discontinue the AFA’s Curators Forum. We will instead present an annual thematic conference that will explore timely issues of interest to all art museum professionals, including curators.

Event Pictures

Curators Forum 2003
June 2003
Topics included: Curators and Publishers: Shared Expectations?; Curators and Educators: Working Through Creative Tensions; Philanthropic Support and the Art Museum; and What’s Next for Curators?

Curators Forum 2002
April 2002
Topics included: Addressing the Public; Rediscovering the Permanent Collection; Curatorial Conscience: and Creative Collaborations.

Curators Forum 2001
April 2001
Topics included: Curator and Scholar—are the roles approached differently?; Mixing Things Up: Linear and Thematic Interpretation/Reinterpretation; The Curatorial Voice: Who’s Listening?; Influence Without Authority.