Paper: New Curatorial and Teaching Practice at the Harvard Art Museums
Panel: Contemporary artistic productions and intercultural dialogues
Abstract: Along with the recent dramatic renovation and expansion of the physical spaces of the Harvard Art Museums, curatorial and teaching practice has undergone a similarly dramatic rethinking. This paper will discuss the ways in which curating and teaching with art has been transformed at Harvard through an examination of two recent exhibitions: Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, guest curated by an Indigenous Australian curator, and The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, curated by the museums’ curator of American art, who worked closely with indigenous artists and scholars to curate indigenous objects in the exhibition. These exhibitions displayed objects not typically included in the museums’ galleries, provided opportunities for radically different ways of teaching with art at the university, and most significantly, also involved indigenous collaborators in unprecedented ways for the institution, which has opened up new possibilities for rethinking art and anthropology.