Enfilade

Conference | Porcelain Circling the Globe

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 24, 2017

Looking ahead to next summer, from the conference programme:

Porcelain Circling the Globe: International Trading Structures and the East Asia Collection of Augustus the Strong (1670–1733)
The Porzellansammlung Dresden, 13–14 June 2018

The Porzellansammlung Dresden will host the international conference Porcelain Circling the Globe: International Trading Structures and the East Asia Collection of Augustus the Strong (1670–1733) in Dresden, Germany, on 13–14 June 2018. Over two days, the conference will discuss the porcelain trade conducted by individual dealers working outside of the dominant trading companies in the 17th and 18th centuries. It will focus on private networks in and beyond Asia, as well as the emergence of collecting East Asian art in Europe.

A significant focus of the conference will be on the former royal collection of Augustus the Strong (1670–1733), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. Augustus was an avid collector of East Asian prints, lacquer work and textiles, and accumulated over 25,000 examples of East Asian porcelain, of which around 8,000 objects are extant at the Porzellansammlung Dresden. The provenance of many of these objects is remarkably well-documented as they were recorded in the early 18th century in extensive royal inventories. Considering the number of porcelain dealers specifically mentioned in these unique records, one must ask the question of how important and influential these private networks were for the formation of East Asian porcelain collections—not only in Saxony, but also in other parts of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The conference will discuss the extent and importance of these private networks, and will debate the phenomenon of trading and collecting East Asian objects from both the traders’ as well as the collectors’ perspectives, with the purpose of investigating interactions between agents from different cultures and backgrounds. The conference is part of the research project Microstructures of Global Trade: East Asian Porcelain in the Collection of Augustus the Strong in the Context of the Museum Inventories of the 18th Century, sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). To join the mailing list for further details and updates, please write to ruth.simonis@skd.museum.

W E D N E S D A Y ,  1 3  J U N E  2 0 1 8

9:00  Registration

9:30  Welcome by Marion Ackermann (SKD) and Julia Weber (SKD)

10:00  Panel 1 | Local Markets
Chair: Stacey Pierson
• Jingdezhen’s porcelain and the merchant route books in late imperial China – Anne Gerritsen (Universiteit Leiden)
• Imperial wares in the Dresden Porcelain Collection: Possibilities of Provenance – Sun Yue (Palace Museum Beijing) )
• The Chinese junk’s intermediate trade in Japanese porcelain for the West between the late 17th century and 1730s – Miki Sakuraba (National Museum of Japanese History)

12:00  Lunch break

13:30  Panel 2 | Trading Structures and Global Connections
Chair: Regina Krahl
• Let’s carefully balance it! Safavid adaptations of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain – Amelia Macioszek (Freie Universität Berlin)
• Some aspects of the Dutch porcelain trade in Asia in relation to the collection of Augustus the Strong – Christiaan Jörg (Groninger Museum, Universiteit Leiden)
• Chinese porcelain and the Netherlands – Jan Van Campen (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)

15:00  Coffee break

15:30  Panel 3 | From Seller to Buyer: Collecting Porcelain in Europe
Chair: Cora Würmell
• ‘His Electoral Highness wishes to have a porcelain service mounted with gold’: The role of the agents and dealers supporting the East Asian porcelain collection of Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria (1662–1726) – Max Tillmann (Independent scholar)
• From Cathay to Versailles: Oriental porcelain in the Louis XIV’s collection – Stephane Castelluccio (Centre André Chastel, Paris)
• Collecting Kakiemon porcelain in Holland and beyond – Menno Fitski (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)

16:30 Discussion

18:00  Welcome reception and open galleries in the Porzellansammlung at the Zwinger Palace

T H U R S D A Y ,  1 4  J U N E  2 0 1 8

9:30  Registration

10:00  Panel 4 | The Dresden Royal Collection of East Asian Porcelain
Chair: Christiaan Jörg
• The Dresden Porcelain Project: The 18th-century collection reassessed – Cora Würmell (SKD)
• Writing the Japanese Palace inventories 1721–27 and 1779 – Karolin Randhahn (Independent scholar)
• The King’s personal shopper: Count Lagnasco’s porcelain acquisitions in the Netherlands for Augustus the Strong, 1716/1717 – Ruth Sonja Simonis (SKD)

12:00  Lunch break

13:30  Panel 5 | Objects in Transfer
Chair: Ruth Sonja Simonis
• Augustus the Strong and his collection of Chinese prints and drawings: From China to Europe – Anita Xiaoming Wang (Independent scholar)
• From Europe to Dresden – Cordula Bischoff (Independent scholar)
•  Early exported Arita wares in the collection of Augustus the Strong – Tomoko Fujiwara (Kyushu Ceramic Museum)
• Export or exported? Challenging classifications of traded porcelains – Stacey Pierson (SOAS University of London)

14:50  Discussion

15:20  Closing words

16:30  Visit to the Japanese Palace (optional)

20:00  Public concert at Chinesischer Pavillon (optional)

F R I D A Y ,  1 5  J U N E  2 0 1 8

10:00–14:00  Optional visit to the workshops at the Meissen Manufactory

Exhibition | William Blake in Sussex: Visions of Albion

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 23, 2017

From the National Trust:

William Blake in Sussex: Visions of Albion
Petworth, Sussex, 13 January — 25 March 2018

William Blake, The Sea of Time and Space, 1821 (Arlington Court, National Trust).

William Blake in Sussex: Visions of Albion offers a rare opportunity to see original works by Blake inspired by the Sussex coast and countryside re-united for the first time. The exhibition takes place in the Servants’ Quarters Gallery and the mansion. Due to limited space in the Servants’ Quarters Gallery, timed tickets are required for this part of the exhibition.

Celebrating Blake’s three years living in Sussex between 1800 and 1803, the exhibition features over 50 loans from such prestigious collections as the British Museum, V&A, and Tate. These are complimented by works from the Petworth collection acquired by George Wyndham, the 3rd Earl of Egremont and his estranged Countess, Elizabeth Ilive.

Sussex remains the only area outside of London where Blake ever lived, settling with his wife in a cottage in Felpham, which he described as “the sweetest spot on Earth.” It is here that Blake saw ‘Visions of Albion’, surrounded by the Sussex coast and countryside that would continue to inspire his work. This exhibition is the first to re-unite these works and nowhere could be more fitting than Petworth, the only great English country house to hold major paintings by the artist.

Among the highlights of the exhibition, on loan from the British Museum, are hand-coloured relief etchings from Blake’s illustrated epic poem Milton, of which only four are in existence. Written and illustrated between 1804 and 1811, the preface contains the words ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ that was adopted for the anthem Jerusalem.

As part of the William Blake in Sussex exhibition, step inside an immersive experience featuring the original drawings by the author and President of the Blake Society, Philip Pullman, created for his best-selling His Dark Materials trilogy. Using projections, sound, and text, Pullman’s Miltonian works are brought to life and offer parallels with Blake’s art which also draws inspiration from the 17th-century English poet John Milton.

A very limited amount of tickets are available on the day sold on a first come, first serve basis. We recommend arriving early and checking with our team for any last minute availabilities, but to avoid disappointment we advise booking at least 24 hours in advance.

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New Book | Les Paradis Secrets de Marie-Antoinette

Posted in books by Editor on December 22, 2017

From Albin Michel:

Christophe Fouin, Thomas Garnier, Christian Milet, and Didier Saulnier, Les Paradis Secrets de Marie-Antoinette (Paris: Éditions Albin Michel, 2017), 240 pages, ISBN: 978 222632 1657, 49€.

Le hameau de la Reine et le Petit Trianon comme vous ne les avez jamais vus.

Les photographes du Domaine vous ouvrent toutes les portes… même les plus secrètes : une promenade exclusive dans les pas de Marie-Antoinette. Alors que ses moindres faits et gestes étaient regardés, commentés et régulés au château de Versailles, selon l’étiquette stricte imposée par Louis XIV, Marie-Antoinette décida qu’elle n’avait plus aucun compte à rendre lorsqu’elle franchissait les haies de ses jardins privés, où sa liberté d’esprit la poussait à se retirer avec ses intimes…

Terracottas from Tomasso Brothers on View in New York

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 21, 2017

European Terracottas from Tomasso Brothers Fine Art
Carlton Hobbs LLC, New York, 25 January — 2 February 2018

Giovanni Bonazza, Allegory of Winter, ca. 1710, terracotta, 34 cm high.

Tomasso Brothers Fine Art of Leeds and London is participating in Master Drawings New York (MDNY) for the first time this coming winter when they hold their annual catalogued exhibition at Carlton Hobbs LLC on the Upper East Side from 25 January to 2 February 2018. Tomasso Brothers has for a number of years held a highly-regarded exhibition in New York in January. The decision this year by MDNY to additionally encompass painting and sculpture at its next edition (Saturday 27 January to Saturday 3 February 2018, Preview Friday 26 January 2018) offered a golden opportunity for the gallery to take part in this preeminent event.

This year Tomasso Brothers will present a selection of important European terracotta sculptures from the neolithic to the neoclassical periods. The exhibition traces the history of ‘fired clay’ starting with the Vinca civilisation of South-Eastern Europe in the fifth millennium BC, which produced the fascinating Idol of a Mother and Child in the show and from there, via the ancient classical period and the Renaissance, to the high baroque, ending with the neoclassical era.

Among the works to be offered is a North Italian idealised Portrait Relief of a Lady from the late fifteenth century, and an attentively described Portrait Bust of a Man from Emilia in Northern Italy, ca. 1500. Both testify to the birth of terracotta as a medium for portraiture which continued well into the early modern era. Among further highlights is a Portrait Bust of a Gentleman by the rare Flemish sculptor Servatius Cardon (1608–1649) and a poignant Portrait of a Young Man attributed to the great French artist Philippe-Laurent Roland (1746–1816). The latter work is a beautiful representation of the birth of the modern portrait, where hierarchy and status give way to the expression of individuality and emotion.

Parallel to this, the exhibition also demonstrates how terracotta was essential to artistic practice as a means for sculptors to develop ideas and compositions, shown by a recently rediscovered terracotta model for an allegorical representation of Winter, by the Venetian baroque master Giovanni Bonazza (1654–1736), which offers a crucial insight into the work of the sculptor, presenting a highly accomplished model for a finished work to be carved in either stone or marble.

A similar case is illustrated by a Character Head executed by Antonio Canova (1757–1822) around 1780, when he was still a young sculptor on the cusp of greatness. Inspired by the famous Laocoön group in the Vatican, this terracotta exists as an invenzione in its own right, and so a testimony to the sculptor’s search for his own artistic vocabulary. Deeply and richly modelled, the Character Head betrays a preoccupation with the representation of emotions, framed within a wider exploration of antiquity that would be a central theme throughout Canova’s career.

Another remarkable discovery and a highlight of the exhibition to be presented by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art is a terracotta model for a figure of Saint Mark by Giuseppe Piamontini (1664–1742), a colossal marble statue carved for the new baroque church of Santi Michele e Gaetano in Piazza Antinori on the central Via Tornabuoni in Florence.

Important European Terracottas, presented by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art as part of Master Drawings New York 2018, will take place at Carlton Hobbs LLC at 60 East 93rd Street NY from 25 January through 2 February 2018. A fully illustrated catalogue will be available. Prices will range from around $15,000 to $500,000.

Call for Papers | CSECS 2018, Niagara Falls

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 20, 2017

From the Call for Papers, which includes the full French version:

CSECS, 2018: Wonder / L’émerveillement
Four Points Sheraton, Niagara Falls, Canada, 10–13 October 2018

Organized by Christina Ionescu and Christina Smylitopoulos 

Proposals due by 15 April [extended from 20 February]

The 2018 annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies will take place at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Comprised of three distinct cascades that monumentally culminate to drain Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, Niagara Falls occupies a significant place in eighteenth-century contemplations of natural wonder. When confronted with the unparalleled sight of a “vast and prodigious cadence of water,” the mesmerised Franciscan missionary Louis Hennepin (1626–1704) attempted to capture “this wonderful downfall” with both text and image in his travelogue, and his account had a long-lasting effect on how Niagara Falls was perceived in the following centuries. Niagara Falls, today considered one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, was more often imagined than visited during the Enlightenment years, when wonder-seekers relied upon the accounts of travellers who had experienced firsthand this natural masterpiece. During the Enlightenment, this preoccupation with the wonder of nature can be tied to engagements with wonder more generally. Despite Samuel Johnson’s disdain for wonder as “the effect of novelty upon ignorance,” contemporaneous writers, artists, thinkers, historians, travellers, and scientists sought to seize and understand this feeling of surprise mixed with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable, which manifested itself across a broad spectrum of human experience and creative output.

This conference organizers invite papers that consider wonder as deployed, depicted, and discussed in a range of contexts: Enlightenment thought, natural science treatises, religious works, cultures of collecting, historical accounts, literary texts, visual production, as well as travel narratives. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:
• the theorisation of wonder as a concept
• the wonder of everyday life and material culture
• the cultivation of (or scepticism toward) wonder in Enlightenment thought
• spectacle and spectatorship in visual representation and culture
• artistry and wonder
• narrative strategies and rhetorical devices for producing wonder
• wonder as an affective response or aesthetic experience
• wonder and scientific knowledge
• wonder and its miraculous manifestations
• collections displaying wondrous thing

In keeping with CSECS tradition, proposals for papers devoted to elements of the long eighteenth century not directly related to the general theme of the conference are also welcome. Individual proposals should include a 150-word abstract of the paper and its title, as well as a biographical statement including the presenter’s name, academic status, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address. Panel proposals should include the above, as well as a brief description of the panel itself. Participants can present in either English or French. An issue of the Society’s bilingual journal, Lumen, will feature a selection of revised proceedings from this conference. Deadline to submit proposals for panels and integrated workshops: January 5, 2018. Deadline to submit individual proposals: February 20, 2018. Proposals should be emailed to csecs2018@yahoo.com.

Invited Speakers
Nathalie Ferrand (École Normale Supérieure / Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes, Paris)
Sandro Jung (Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel)
Sarah Tindal Kareem (University of California, Los Angeles)

New Book | British Embassies

Posted in books by Editor on December 19, 2017

From Francis Lincoln, and imprint of The Quarto Group:

James Stourton, with photographs by Luke White, British Embassies: Their Diplomatic and Architectural History (Frances Lincoln, 2017), 352 pages, ISBN: 978  071123  8602, $65 / £40.

British Embassies have a special role in British history. They represent the country in bricks and stone and have often expressed—at least in the eyes of foreigners—British national character. Whether they are Lutyens buildings in Washington, grand palaces in Europe, beautiful old colonial buildings in Asia, or secure compounds in the Middle East, they all have stories to tell and reveal the changing face of British diplomacy. A mixture of history, architectural description, diplomacy and anecdote, this large format picture book covers residences and embassies in twenty-six countries to provide an authoritative text, accompanied by newly commissioned photography.

James Stourton is the prize-winning author of five books including Great Houses of London and the authorised biography of Kenneth Clark, Life, Art and Civilization. He is a former Chairman of Sotheby’s UK, he sits on the Heritage Memorial Fund panel and the Acceptance in Lieu panel, and is a senior fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, London University.

Luke White’s photographs have been widely published in interior design and architectural magazines including Architectural Digest, Vogue, and Homes and Gardens. His books include Sally Storey’s Lighting by Design and The Irish at Home by Jane and Sarah McDonnell.

Exhibition | San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by internjmb on December 18, 2017

José de Páez, Mexican Castes (Castas mexicanas), (15 total), ‘1. De Español, e India, produce mestizo’, oil on canvas, 1780
(Private Collection)
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From the San Antonio Museum of Art:

San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico, A Tricentennial Exhibition
San Antonio Museum of Art, 17 February 2018 — 13 May 2018

Three hundred years ago the city of San Antonio was founded as a strategic outpost of presidios defending the colonial interests of northern New Spain and missions advancing Christian conversion. The city’s missions bear architectural witness to the time of their founding, but few have walked these sites without wondering who once lived there, what they saw, valued, and thought. San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico tells the story of the city’s first century through more than one hundred landscapes, portraits, narrative paintings, sculptures, and devotional and decorative objects, many of them never before exhibited in the United States. The exhibition is organized in three sections: People and Places, The Cycle of Life, and The Church.

San Antonio 1718 includes portraits of political and economic power, Spanish viceroys and military leaders who helped shape the destiny of the city. It explores the intrepid Franciscan missionaries who spearheaded the evangelization of the region, including Fray Antonio Margil de Jésus, known as the ‘Patron Saint of Texas’, and the religious figures who anchored their teachings such as the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and her American manifestation, the Virgin of Guadalupe. Many works are more personal: portraits of poised young women whose marriages will solidify status, aspirational paintings of young families at home, nuns depicted at the threshold of their vows or at their death, intimate miniatures of lovers and soldiers, post-mortem portraits of infants. Throughout, the works invoke the lineage and authority of mainland Spain, while revealing the lives and times of San Antonio’s earliest inhabitants.

Celebrating the city’s deep Hispanic roots and cultural ties with Mexico, San Antonio 1718 features works by New Spain’s most talented eighteenth-century artists, including Cristόbal de Villalpando (1649–1714), Miguel Cabrera (1695–1768), and José de Páez (1720–1790), as well as pieces by talented unknown vernacular artists.

Marion Oettinger, ed., with essays by Jaime Cuadriello, Cristina Cruz González, Ray Hernández-Durán, Katherine Luber, and Gerald Poyo, San Antonio 1718: Art from Mexico (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2018), 288 pages, ISBN: 9781595348340, $33.

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Note (added 19 February 2018) — The original posting did not include the catalogue details.

Call for Articles | Stay Still: Tableau Vivant

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 18, 2017

From the Call for Papers:

Stay Still: Past, Present, and Practice of the Tableau Vivant
RACAR Special Issue, October 2019
Guest Edited by Mélanie Boucher and Ersy Contogouris

Proposals due by 1 February 2018; final essays will be due by 15 August 2018

Jules-Ernest Livernois, Mrs. Ed Foley’s Statuary Group, 1893 © Jules-Ernest Livernois/Library and Archives Canada/PA-024050.

While the conceptualization and modern incarnation of the tableau vivant are rooted in eighteenth-century Europe, its origins can be traced back to antique pantomime and to royal entrances in the early modern period. Presented first at the theatre, and then in private settings, for the pleasure and education of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie, the tableau vivant quickly migrated to other areas of the world, including North America. It decisively marked the beginning of photography and was fundamental to pictorialism and early cinema. Its practice was abandoned during the first half of the twentieth century, then re- emerged in 1960s experimental cinema, while its mise-en-scène and its exploration of immobility were exploited in contemporary art during this same period. The use of the term ‘tableau vivant’ to refer to contemporary artistic performances appeared in the mid-1990s, and probably stemmed from the interest then shown for Vanessa Becroft’s practice. In the early 2000s, the markedly growing engagement with the tableau vivant, the re-enactment of performances, and their presentation over long periods of time, in turn deeply impacted on museum practices. If it is in literature studies that reflexive analyses of the tableau vivant first appeared, recent scholarship—whether informed by literature, theatre, cinema, the visual arts, museology, or other fields of knowledge—is contributing to the rediscovery of the tableau vivant and to its recognition as a hybrid practice, the study of which can be productive in different areas.

The tableau vivant raises various issues that relate to its mechanisms of presentation as a performance, among them, theatrical, narrative, spatial, pictorial, and temporal. It also engages with social and political issues such as gender, race, sexuality, class, and the relationship of the subject to the material world. As an object that is collected and exhibited, it is inscribed in the history of analogical museography, but also raises present-day issues linked to conservation and exhibition. As an artistic practice today, it enters into dialogue with other forms of appropriation and relates to practices of re-enactment, reconstitution, remake, citation, and remixing that are particularly popular in contemporary art as well as in other areas of art and culture. What sets it apart from these other practices, its characteristic of immobility, in turn brings into play its own set of theoretical and interpretative questions.

By looking at the tableau vivant from a variety of standpoints, this special issue of RACAR aims to contribute to the knowledge and to the current thinking on this subject. We welcome historical or theoretical pieces that address either specific works or more general concerns relating to the tableau vivant; accounts of artistic and museological practices; as well as portfolios. The call is open to topics relating to all historical periods, all geographical and cultural areas, and all artistic media.

To this end, we are soliciting three types of proposals, in either French or English: articles (maximum 7,500 words, including notes), accounts of practices (maximum 3,500 words, including notes), and portfolios (maximum 10 images and 1,000 words, including notes). The articles and accounts of practices will be submitted to double-blind peer review. Please submit your proposals of a maximum of 250 words and a short CV before February 1, 2018, to Mélanie Boucher, Université du Québec, (melanie.boucher@uqo.ca) and Ersy Contogouris, Université de Montréal (ersy.contogouris@umontreal.ca).

Exhibition | ‘He First Brought it to Perfection’: John Smith and Mezzotint

Posted in exhibitions by internjmb on December 17, 2017

From the Agnes Etherington Art Centre

‘He First Brought it to Perfection’: John Smith and the Mezzotint in Early Modern England
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s Unversity, Kingston, Ontario, 6 January — 8 April 2018

Curated by Andrea Morgan under the supervision of Jacquelyn Coutré 

John Smith (after Godfrey Kneller), Portrait of John Smith, mezzotint on paper, 1716 (Gift of Mary C. Stewart in memory of J. Douglas Stewart, 2013, 56.014.04)

The new printmaking technique of mezzotint found a modest audience in continental Europe, but, around 1700, it achieved incredible popularity in England. This exhibition focuses on the printmaker-publisher John Smith (1652–1743), who captured the market with his sophisticated mezzotint prints after Renaissance and contemporary masters. It frames his achievements within the context of the printmaking tradition in England and evinces his savviness on the art market.

Artists represented in this show include Isaac Beckette, Anthony van Dyck, John Faber, Jr., John Smith, Wallerant Vaillant, and William Vincent.

The show is curated by Andrea Morgan under the supervision of Dr Jacquelyn N. Coutré as part of the practicum course in the graduate program of the Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University.

Mia Receives Funding for Empathy and Diversity Initiatives

Posted in museums by Editor on December 16, 2017

Installation view of Living Rooms: The Many Voices of Colonial America, on view in the Charleston Drawing Room at Mia from 22 April 2017 until 15 April 2018 (Minneapolis Institute of Art)

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Press release (13 December 2017) from Mia:

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) announced today that it has received two major grants: a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the museum’s Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts and a $520,000 grant from the Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation supporting Mia’s ongoing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) initiative.

Center for Empathy and Visual Arts / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funding will enable Mia to establish the first-ever Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts (CEVA) within an art museum. Mia is spearheading the project, collaborating with researchers, scholars, philosophers, content experts, artists, thought leaders, and colleagues at other museums to explore and research best practices to foster compassion and enhance related emotional skills. This ambitious initiative will span nearly five years, providing Mia and other art museums ample opportunities to purposefully build empathy into their learning practices as a strategy for impacting positive social change.

Kaywin Feldman, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia, said, “A visitor to our museum has the opportunity to experience works of art made over the course of some 5,000 years, from every corner of the globe. One of the most meaningful aspects of this encounter is the awareness it can awaken of a common humanity—an immediate sense of connection between the viewer and someone who may have lived in a very different time and place. Thanks to the Mellon Foundation, we’re proud to take the lead with partners across the country, in studying how to spark and nurture empathy through the visual arts, so that Mia and all art museums can contribute even more toward building a just and harmonious society.”

The first phase of this initiative kicked off in October, when Mia invited experts from fields as diverse as the social sciences, empathy research, virtual reality, and neuroscience fields, as well as museum curators and directors, artists, and educators, to discuss empathy and the art museum at the University of California, Berkeley—a partner in this research project. The ideas generated by the think tank will be developed and tested with the aim of fostering greater awareness and understanding, wonder, and/or global awareness among visitors.

“To be human is to express our emotions in art,” said Dacher Keltner, PhD, Professor of Psychology at University of California, Berkeley, Director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab and Co-Director of the Greater Good Science Center. “Aesthetic experiences—in viewing a painting, sculpture, photograph, or dance, or in music—are sources of awe and wonder. They enable us to solve a complex mystery—to understand what our fellow humans think and feel. For these reasons, the museum may be one of the great catalysts of human empathy and compassion. That possibility is the focus of Mia’s new scientific initiative with UC Berkeley and the Greater Good Science Center.”

During the initiative’s second phase, the Center will disseminate easy-to-use tools that guide museum educators and curators in using their collections to foster empathy among their own visitors. The initiative’s leaders at Mia hope that museums across the country and abroad will be inspired to build upon this work by incorporating the key learnings into their own practices, resulting in far-reaching impact inside the field and beyond.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility / Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation

The Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation will provide resources for Mia’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) efforts, which strengthen the pipeline of art museum leadership positions for those who have been historically underrepresented: people of color and indigenous people. With the funding, the museum will hire a Diversity & Inclusion Manager, who will research, develop, and launch a robust fellowship program for college students of diverse cultural backgrounds. The IDEA program expands upon Mia’s current Native American Fellowship Program, which has been active for more than 10 years through financial support from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

“At Mia, we believe that embracing diversity as a core value, not just as a program, will bring more voices, perspectives, and experiences to the field and its practice,” Feldman said. “Within the next decade, we hope to see a significant impact on young leadership in the museum field.”

Mia will collaborate with Twin Cities’ colleges and other organizations to develop networks to recruit candidates for fellowships, full-time openings, unpaid internships, and volunteer opportunities. To do so, it will work with other institutions’ H.R. and diversity inclusion departments, college career advisors, and campus student groups.

“We are delighted to partner with Mia on this important initiative,” said Patricia Pratt-Cook, Senior Vice President for Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion at St. Catherine University. “St. Kate’s, home to one of the nation’s largest colleges for women and a student population that is 37.7% diverse, serves diverse students with an innovative approach to learning and a faculty that has been recognized nationally for their commitment to teaching. We look forward to supporting Mia’s success through this grant by sharing our experiences with the museum and connecting our students to opportunities available through Mia’s IDEA project.”

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