International Forum and Expo
"Meeting the West: Exhibitions from American Museums"
Tuesday, November 18–Thursday, December 18, 2014
Tuesday–Wednesday, November 18–19, 2014
Nanjing Museum, China
"Meeting the West: Exhibitions from American Museums" brought together museum leaders from the United States and China to participate in a Forum and Expo exploring the opportunities, challenges, and logistics of exhibition collaboration between the two countries. Thirty-four directors and curators from twenty-one U.S. museums and cultural institutions and twenty directors from twelve Chinese museums attended the two-day Forum, which drew an audience of over 200 Chinese museum professionals. This was the largest high-level U.S.-China museum exchange ever organized and the first program of this kind developed by an American institution in close partnership with a leading Chinese museum. An accompanying Exhibition Expo provided a unique platform for U.S. museums to share information on their institutions, collections, available loan exhibitions, and possible exchange programs with their Chinese colleagues as well as members of the general public. During its month-long presentation at the Nanjing Museum, the Expo was viewed by approximately 8,000 visitors per day.
A catalogue featuring all exhibitions presented at the Expo was published by the Nanjing Museum and is available as a digital publication.
Song Xinchao, Deputy Director, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage Jay Xu, Director, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Nancy Berliner, Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Antonia Boström, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Chen Ruijin, Director, Suzhou Museum
Anita Chung, Curator of Chinese Art, Cleveland Museum of Art
Fang Qin, Director, Hubei Provincial Museum
Gong Liang, Director, Nanjing Museum
Guo Xiaoling, Director, Beijing Capital Museum
Michelle Hargrave, Curator and China Initiative Project Director, American Federation of Arts
Huang Lumin, Deputy Director, Nanjing Museum
Liu Yang, Head of the Asian Art Department and Curator of Chinese Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Thomas J.Loughman, Associate Director for Program and Planning, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Luo Xiangjun, Director, Heibei Museum
Colin MacKenzie, Senior Curator of Chinese Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Dan Monroe, Director, Peabody Essex Museum
Alex Nyerges, Director, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Shi Jinming, Director, Shanxi Museum
Tian Kai, Director, Henan Museum
E. Michael Whittington, Director, Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Pauline Willis, Director, American Federation of Arts
Wang Hongguang, Director, Guizhou Provincial Museum
Wang Qizhi, Vice Director, Nanjing Museum
Wu Weifeng, Director, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Museum
Xu Yaoxin, Head of Cultural Department of Jiangsu Province
Zhang Rongxiang, Deputy Director, China Three Gorges Museum
"Meeting the West: Exhibitions from American Museums" was co-organized by the Nanjing Museum and the American Federation of Arts. Support for the AFA’s China Initiative is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Mrs. Donald M. Cox, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
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AFA ArtViews "Digital Space / Physical Space: Mapping the 21st – Century Museum"
Theater at the New Museum, New York City
4–6 p.m panel discussion
Historically, art museums have been physical spaces—typically, buildings—devoted to preserving artworks and making them visually available to people who walk through their doors. In the past few decades, technology has increasingly transformed museum spaces, affecting everything from how we care for and interpret objects to how we conceptualize exhibitions. The most profound shifts, perhaps, relate to audiences: unbounded by physical geography, digital technologies make it possible for museums to share experiences and information with people around the world. Yet what is being shared? Websites, apps, and even collections databases are spaces with physical, aesthetic, and cultural logics of their own. For users, they may function as surrogates for or complements to physical visits to a museum; in either case they provide new ways to present content. The panelists examined the unique possibilities of digital engagement, reflecting on existing and potential relationships between digital and physical space.
Piotr Adamczyk, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute
Lauren Cornell, Curator, 2015 Triennial, Museum as Hub and Digital Projects, New Museum
Jennifer Foley, Director of Interpretation, Cleveland Museum of Art
Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Steven Mann, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Programs, American Federation of Arts
"Digital Space/ Physical Space: Mapping the 21st-Century Museum" was organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Arts & Business Council of New York. Generous funding was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, and Agnes Gund.
AFA ArtViews “The Art Market and the Museum: New Realities in Public Collecting”
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.
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.
AFA ArtViews “Cultural Districts: A Rising Tide”
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
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.
AFA China Day
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.
AFA ArtViews “Art Museum Blockbusters: Myths, Facts, and Their Future”
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.
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.
AFA ArtViews—“Art Museum Funding at the Crossroads”
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.
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.
"Shifting Challenges in the Protection of Archaeological Heritage"
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.
Museum Collections Today—
Acquisitions and Deaccessioning
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:
Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Foundation, Inc.
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.
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.
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|
Directors ForumDesigned 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.
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)
Directors Forum 1999
(November 7-9, 1999)
Directors Forum 1998
A Unique Perspective: Exploring the Big Impact of Small Museums
(November 8-10, 1998)
Directors Forum 1997
Getting Down to Business: Art Museums in a Market Environment
(November 9-11, 1997)
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 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.
Curators Forum 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
Topics included: Addressing the Public; Rediscovering the Permanent Collection; Curatorial Conscience: and Creative Collaborations.
Curators Forum 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.