Online Symposium | Museum, Research, and Discovery

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 13, 2022

From the symposium flyer:

Museum, Research, and Discovery
Online, Masterpiece London, 15–16 February 2022

Masterpiece London is delighted to host a programme of digital debate and discussion, co-organised by the Fair and writer and critic Thomas Marks, to bring together preeminent museum curators and conservators with the leading figures in the art and antiques trade, with the aim of encouraging constructive discussion, networking, and the exchange of knowledge and practical advice.

Museums, Research and Discovery is the sixth in a series of events that Masterpiece London launched in 2018—and which since 2020 have fully embraced the possibilities of digital discussion, with recent online events focusing on conservation, artistic materials, and the history of colour. This spring the focus is on museums as sites of discovery, exploring how research within museums can engender a greater understanding of their holdings; and how new forms of collaboration between museums, as well as between museums and the public, stand to bring new information about collections to light.

Over two days, experts will offer a range of perspectives on how museums and archives make art-historical discoveries possible—and how innovative collaborations and technologies are opening new pathways for collections-based research. What is the role of research in preparing exhibitions, conservation projects or making acquisitions, say, and how far does the potential for discovery motivate such activities? How are research findings in museums best communicated to the public? And how might the sharing of archives and digitised collections, and new modes of analysing them, give rise to fresh art-historical discoveries in the future?

As ever at the Masterpiece Symposium, attendees will be invited to participate in the discussion during the break-out sessions that follow the panels—with the aim of sharing knowledge and ideas. “This event builds on our online programme, which has aimed to foster better understanding of works of art,” says Philip Hewat-Jaboor, Chairman of Masterpiece London. “The sixth Masterpiece Symposium will continue this thread by celebrating how museums enable art-historical research and communicate it to the public—and how museum collections offer opportunities to develop new methods of research.”

Register for the Masterpiece Symposium here»

Knowing Collections
Tuesday, 15 February 2022
Panel Discussion: 5pm (BST), Break-out Sessions: 6pm–6.30pm (BST)

This session will explore how research within museums allows for the reconsideration of individual works or types of work, be that their facture, authorship, meaning, provenance or wider cultural significance. The conversation will cover the relationship between research and: display; conservation; exhibition-making; digitisation; and acquisitions. To what extent are collections rediscovered, in some sense, by successive generations of curators and conservators?

Paola D’Agostino | Director, Musei del Bargello, Florence
Helen Jacobsen | Executive Director, The Attingham Trust
Francesca Whitlum-Cooper | Associate Curator, National Gallery, London
Katie Ziglar | Director, Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Moderated by Thomas Marks | Associate Fellow, Warburg Institute, London

Modes of Discovery
Wednesday, 16 February 2022
Panel Discussion: 5pm (BST), Break-out Sessions: 6pm–6.30pm (BST)

This session will focus on how the sharing of objects, images and data between institutions, and between them and the public, can lead to types of discovery that might not otherwise be possible. The conversation will explore collaboration between collections; institutional transparency about provenance and other types of information; the possibilities for public participation in research; and how new technologies such as machine learning and computer vision might generate new ways of understanding museum collections. What might we discover in and about museum collections in the not-too-distant future?

MacKenzie L. Mallon | Specialist, Provenance, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Rebecca Roberts | Project Coordinator, Arcadia MAHSA, and Research Associate, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Pip Willcox | Head of Research, The National Archives, Kew
Louisa Wood Ruby | Head of Research, The Frick Art Reference Library, New York and
Chair, PHAROS: The International Consortium of Photoarchives
Moderated by Thomas Marks | Associate Fellow, Warburg Institute, London

Exhibition | Materials of Empire: Colonial Narratives, 1700–1860

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on February 13, 2022

Now on view at Rienzi:

Materials of Empire: Colonial Narratives, 1700–1860
Rienzi, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 15 January — 31 July 2022

Portuguese, Earrings from a Parure, ca. 1780–1820, emeralds, diamonds, and yellow gold with silver overlay (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection).

Materials of Empire: Colonial Narratives 1700–1860 explores objects from the Rienzi Collection that shed light on the links between Europe, Africa, the Americas, and India. This small exhibition examines the stories objects reveal as well as conceal, and places them within the context of entangled legacies and experiences of empire.

Exploration, war, scientific expeditions, and religious missions feature prominently in the history of Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. These factors fueled an age of discovery in which thousands of ships transported explorers, merchants, and migrants from Europe to far-reaching destinations.

Vessels bound back to Europe carried cargo such as gold, silver, sugar, and tobacco. The ships also transported millions of enslaved men, women, and children from Africa to points across the empires to serve as labor in the cultivation of the new materials. Every crossing brought new encounters and confrontations between people and ways of life, resulting in a complex cultural landscape.

Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, presents special exhibitions twice a year.

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