Online Conference | The Evolving House Museum

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on June 13, 2021

From ArtHist.net and The Society for the History of Collecting:

The Evolving House Museum: Art Collectors and Their Residences, Then and Now
Online, The Society for the History of Collecting, 18–19 June 2021

Organized by Margaret Iacono and Esmée Quodbach

House museums are founded for a variety of reasons, from preserving architecturally significant structures to safeguarding the former homes of historically or culturally noteworthy men and women and their legacies. In other cases esteemed art collectors, such as Henry Clay Frick or Albert C. Barnes, established museums in their former residences to house their collections in perpetuity rather than donating them to preexisting institutions. While many successful examples like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum continue to thrive, other lesser-known house museums do not attract enough support to remain operational. House museums, it seems, must evolve in order to remain relevant and to continue to attract visitors.

This conference explores a variety of themes relating to art collectors as founders of house museums. Among these are discussions about the motivates that encouraged collectors to establish private house museums instead of donating their collections to preexisting institutions; how collectors’ original intention have manifested themselves in their museums; how house museums’ collections or buildings have evolved over time; and how museums have reinterpreted their collections to remain relevant to contemporary and diverse audiences. Other issues concern how major historic events like the 2008 financial crisis or the recent COVID-19 pandemic have impacted house museums. To attend the event, please register at events@societyhistorycollecting.org.

All times are given in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

F R I D A Y ,  1 8  J U N E  2 0 2 1

11.00  Welcome and Introductory Remarks

11.15  Keynote Address
• Inge Reist (Director Emerita of the Center for the History of Collecting, The Frick Collection, New York), Whose House Is It Anyway?

11.45  Early Beginnings, the Gilded Age, and Beyond
• Anne Nellis Richter (Independent Scholar and Adjunct Faculty, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts), Cleveland House as Art Museum: ‘The Louvre of London’ (1806)
• Evelien de Visser (Curator of Fine Arts from 1750 and Information Specialist Van Gogh Worldwide, RKD—Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague), The Mesdag Collection in The Hague: The Lasting Legacy of Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Sientje van Houten

12.25  Q & A, followed by break

12.45  Early Beginnings, the Gilded Age, and Beyond, continued
• Mia Laufer (Associate Curator, Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul), A Tale of Two Museums: The Legacies of the Parisian Collectors Isaac and Moïse de Camondo
• Lynne Ambrosini (Deputy Director/Chief Curator Emerita, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio), The Evolution of Charles and Anna Taft’s Art Museum: Display, Space, Audience, and Acquisitions
• Martha Easton (Assistant Professor of Art History, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia), Medievalism, Museums, and Modern Audiences: The Case of the Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts

1.45  Q & A

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 9  J U N E  2 0 2 1

11.00  Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Evolving House Museum over the Past Century
• Welcome and Introductory Remarks
• Marissa Hershon (Curator of Ca’ d’Zan and Decorative Arts, The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida), The Ringling Museum’s Ca’ d’Zan: Its Evolution from Winter Residence to Historic House Museum
• Anne Hilker (Independent Scholar, New York), The Fortunes of War: The Brief Life of the Jules S. Bache House Museum in New York, 1937–1943
• Rebecca Tilles (Associate Curator of 18th-Century French & Western European Fine and Decorative Arts, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Washington, DC), Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood and the Vision from a Private Collection to Public Museum

12.15  Q & A, followed by break

12.35  Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Evolving House Museum over the Past Century, continued
• Chih-En Chen (PhD Candidate, History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS, University of London), Hung’s Art Gallery: Shaping the History of Collecting in Taiwan in the New Millennium
• Georgina Walker (Honorary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne), A New Type of House Museum: Lyon Housemuseum, Melbourne (2009)
• Julie Codell (Professor, Art History, Arizona State University, Tempe), Ecologies of House Museums: Some Final Thoughts

1.40  Q & A

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