This is an absolutely amazing-looking forum coming up on Thursday, April 14. Those of you who are not in Rainey’s Material Culture class should absolutely check it out – and please write about it for the blog!


On April 14 2011 The Northeastern University Humanities Center will host seven leading museum professionals, philosophers and artists for a panel discussion entitled Museums and the World: Whose Story Is It? Artist Fred Wilson, McArthur Genius Grant Recipient, along with several others from various organizations including, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Smithsonian, Artist in Context, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation will consider how museums and other cultural and educational institutions preserve and create ideas and identity in the global, digital age. What are the challenges? What are the opportunities?

The discussion is co-sponsored by the Northeastern University Humanities Center and the USC Fisher Museum of Art and will be followed by a reception. Museums and the World: Whose Story Is It? will take place on April 14, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 PM in the Amilcar Cabral Memorial Student Center, located at 40 Leon Street, West Village F, Boston, Massachusetts.  The event is free and open to the public.

More information about panelists for Museums and the World: Whose Story Is It?

Roger W. Bowen, Director of the Woodrow Wilson Fellows Program, Former Director of the Public Museum of Milwaukee, Former Secretary General of the American Association of University Professors
Roger W. Bowen currently serves as Principal Associate of the executive search firm, Archer-Martin Associates; as Senior Advisor (Council of Independent Colleges) and Director of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program; and as Board Governance Consultant for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Bowen has served as General Secretary of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), as President/CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum and as President of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Formerly he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at Hollins University. In spring 1996 he was in residence at the Center for the Humanities and Public Policy (University of Virginia) as a Research Fellow. Earlier he held several administrative positions at Colby College in Maine, including Director of East Asian Studies, Director of Black Studies, Director of Colby-in-Cork (Ireland), and Professor and Chair of the Department of Government. From 1981 until 2008 he was an Associate in Research at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University.

Elliot Bostwick Davis, John Moors Cabot Chair, “Art of the Americas,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Elliot Bostwick Davis is the John Moors Cabot Chair of the new “Art of the Americas” wing at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. This preeminent assemblage of 15,000 works offers a more inclusive definition of American art by including more than 5,000 works from North, Central, and South America. During her previous tenure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Davis helped organize the museum’s landmark exhibition of American art from the Age of Jackson through the Civil War. The accompanying catalogue, which Davis co-authored, was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 most important books published in 2000. “She has a real vision,” said MFA director Malcolm Rogers of Davis, “and a sense almost of moral responsibility to tell the tale of American art.”

Selma Holo, Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California, Director of the Fisher Museum of Art, Founding Director of University of Southern California’s Museum Studies Program
Selma Holo has written and lectured extensively on Spanish artists. Her recent scholarly focus has been the role of museums in society. Her books, Beyond the Prado, Museums and Identity in Democratic Spain and Oaxaca at the Crossroads: Managing Memory, Negotiating Change, illuminate how museums can help shift a nation or a region’s sense of identity during times of social and political transitions. Her most recent book, Beyond the Turnstile, Making the Case for Museums and Sustainable Values, provides a language for all museums to articulate their indispensable part in shaping culture. Holo is a professor of the history of art at the University of Southern California (USC). She is also director of the USC Fisher Museum of Art and director of the College’s International Museum Studies Institute, along with Mexico’s representative, Graciela de la Torre.

Richard Koshalek, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian
Richard Koshalek is Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the modern and contemporary art museum of the Smithsonian Institution. From 1979-1999 Koshalek was director of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He is widely known for his commitment to international initiatives and exchanges, new artistic commissions, scholarly exhibitions and publications, and the building of new architectural facilities, including MOCA’s temporary contemporary, Walt Disney concert Hall (Chairman Architecture Committee), and Tate Modern (Architecture Selection Committee) that have garnered widespread acclaim. Currently he is engaged in creating the Seasonal Inflatable Structure at the Hirshhorn, a new public forum for contemporary art and culture.

Louisa McCall, Co-Director, “Artists in Context”
Louisa McCall is a creative consultant and codirector of Artists in Context, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among contemporary artists and creative thinkers. Before joining Artists in Context, she was program director at the LEF Foundation New England, where she developed strategic arts initiatives and oversaw $4.3 million in funding for hundreds of artists. Prior to that, she organized a national conference for the Institute for Art and Civil Dialogue at Harvard University, in collaboration with Anna Deavere Smith, the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, and the American Repertory Theater. McCall has also consulted with the City of Boston Public Art Commission and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, where she is a member of the board of directors

Graciela de la Torre, Director of the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Graciela de la Torre was born in Mexico City. She holds a B.A. in Art History, among other studies, and is an almuni of the Getty Leadership Institute. She was Director of the National Museum of San Carlos and of the Museo Nacional de Arte, MUNAL, both in Mexico City. She was responsible for the renovation of the museum with the project Munal 2000. Since 2004, she has been the Director of Visual Arts at the National University Autonomous of Mexico, UNAM. Under her administration are: El Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo (MuAC) inaugurated in 2008, MUCA Roma and theMuseo Experimental El Eco. In 2009, she was distinguished with the ICOM award for “representing the most notable in the mexican museum field.”

Fred Wilson, Artist, McArthur Genius Grant Recipient, Whitney Museum Trustee
Fred Wilson’s work has been featured in over 100 group exhibitions, including the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) as the American representative, the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Exhibition (1993), and the 4th International Cairo Biennale (1992). He has had over 25 solo museum exhibitions internationally, and has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (the “Genius Grant”), Chicago (1999). Fred Wilson is represented by The Pace Gallery, N.Y., and currently lives and works in New York City.