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In-Conversation: Museum Directors on the Curatorial Role
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AAMC is pleased to be hosting the next of our In Conversation programs, In-Conversation: Museum Directors on the Curatorial Role. Three museum directors, new to the Boston area, discuss the role of the art museum curator - the challenges and opportunities; balances in presenting western / non-western and modern / non-modern; and how the role of curator has changed, what should change, and what lies ahead.

When: Monday, September 26th, 2016
6:30pm – 9:00pm
Where: Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts  02138
United States
Contact: Lucy Lydon

Online registration is closed.
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Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation In-Conversation Series 


Museum Directors on the Curatorial Role

Monday, September 26th, 2016
6:30pm - 9:00pm 

Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138



Three museum directors, new to the Boston area, discuss the role of the art museum curator. Join moderator John Ravenal (deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum) and panelists Martha Tedeschi (Harvard Art Museums), and Matthew Teitelbaum (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) for lively conversation on their views of the curatorial profession--the challenges and opportunities; balances in presenting western / non-western and  modern / non-modern; and how the role of curator has changed, what should change, and what lies ahead.


The AAMC Foundation regional programming, In-Conversation, collaborates with our leadership, and prominent voices within local communities for dialogues on pressing issues within the curatorial profession, museum network, and broader visual arts world. Through hosting regional programming, AAMC & AAMC Foundation will further our initiatives of advocacy and diversity, connect members in regional areas, and support our overall mission.

Each evening series includes a discussion and reception. Our current locations include NYC, June 2016; Boston, September 2016; Washington, DC, November 2016; Los Angeles, winter, 2017; and Toronto, summer, 2017. Click here to read more about our June panel held at The Frick Collection, In-Conversation: Preventing Looting: What Curators and All Museum Staff Can Do.

Listed alphabetically. Please see below for full biographies of our presenters. 

John B. Ravenal, Executive Director, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum; AAMC & AAMC Foundation Past President and Trustee Emeritus; Moderator

Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, Harvard Art Museums 

Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


This In-Conversation is open to current AAMC members and guests, with a limited number of student tickets available. Student registration opens September 1st. Registration for all tickets closes Friday, September 23rd.

$25 for AAMC Members
$30 for Non-Members
Free for students, limited capacity. To register as a student, please email

To learn more about AAMC Membership, you may visit our Join page here. 


Listed alphabetically


John B. Ravenal, Executive Director, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Ravenal became Executive Director of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in January 2015. Before that he was the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a position he held from 1998. From 1991 to 1998 he was the Assistant Curator and then Associate Curator of 20th-Century Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ravenal has a record of exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications spanning 20th- and 21st-century art and specializing in projects with living artists, including Chuck Close, Sally Mann, Xu Bing, Ryan McGinness, and Robert Lazzarini. He recently organized a major exhibition of work by Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch, an international partnership with the Munch Museum in Oslo, where it was on view this past summer. It opens at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in November.

Ravenal earned his BA at Wesleyan University in 1981, followed by three years as a Researcher in Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. He earned his MA and MPhil in Art History from Columbia University in 1987 and 1990, respectively. In 2009-2011, he served as the fourth president of the Association of Art Museum Curators.


Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, Harvard Art Museums 

Martha Tedeschi is the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, a position she assumed in July of this year. Prior to this appointment she served for four years as Deputy Director for Art and Research at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Previously, she held the Prince Trust Curatorship in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute.

Tedeschi received her B.A. with honors from Brown University, an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University (1994). She is a specialist in British and American art, with a strong secondary interest in the history of printmaking in early modern Europe as well as in the techniques and materials of works on paper. She is the general editor and co-author of the two-volume catalogue raisonné The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler (1998), winner of the George Wittenborn award in that the year. She has published extensively in scholarly journals and has organized numerous exhibitions for the Art Institute of Chicago. She was the organizing curator of the exhibition Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light, (2008) as well as for its sequel, John Marin’s Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism (2011). Both projects involved robust collaborations with conservators and conservation scientists. Her most recent exhibition was Undressed: The Fashion of Privacy (Summer 2013).

Before assuming the directorship at Harvard Art Museums, Tedeschi was a longtime member of AAMC and served on the AAMC board and several committees. She was a 2012 Fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, and helped to found two curatorial training programs in Chicago with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Matthew Teitelbaum was appointed the Ann and Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in April of 2015. The museum is one of  the world’s largest privately funded art museums, with an encyclopedic collection of nearly 500,000 works ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary. Matthew provides leadership to 1,000 employees and oversees an annual operating budget of $105.9 million and an endowment valued at $597 million.  In his first year as director, Matthew has led the development of a strategic plan that will position the MFA as an international arts leader and community resource, while further engaging new audiences and enhancing the Museum’s critically acclaimed exhibition program.

Previously, Teitelbaum was Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) from 1998-2015 after having first joined the museum in 1993 as Chief Curator. With a vision to transform the Gallery into an institution of global stature serving a vibrant city and region, Teitelbaum significantly grew the museum’s collections, broadened its audiences, increased its research initiatives, and raised its standing to unprecedented levels. Starting in 2002, Teitelbaum spearheaded a major expansion and renovation of the museum, realized by Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry, which encompassed a 47 percent increase in gallery and exhibition space and a complete refurbishment of its existing beaux arts building. 

Throughout his tenure at the AGO, Teitelbaum partnered with major international museums, including The Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée d’Orsay, and the State Hermitage Museum, among others. Notable exhibitions organized under his leadership include Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time (2015), the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in Canada, which is currently on view at the AGO; Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty (2014); Ai Weiwei: According to What? (2013); Picasso: Masterpieces from Musée National, Paris (2012), a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal collection; King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs (2009); and Turner, Whistler, Monet: Impressionist Visions (2004). 

Prior to joining the AGO, Teitelbaum held curatorial positions with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; and the London Regional Art Gallery in London, Ontario. In 2006, he received the honor of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his ongoing commitment and contributions to the arts; in 2008, he received the RCA medal from the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts for his outstanding support to the development of the visual arts in Canada, and in 2009, he was awarded the Canadian Centre for Diversity’s Human Relations Award and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) Award for arts leadership. 

A scholar of contemporary, European, and Canadian art, Teitelbaum holds a bachelor of arts with honors in Canadian history from Carleton University, a master of philosophy in modern European painting and sculpture from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University. He has taught at Harvard University, York University, and the University of Western Ontario, and has lectured internationally. Among the publications Teitelbaum has authored and edited are Giuseppe Penone: The Hidden Life Within (Black Dog, 2013); Paterson Ewen (Douglas & McIntyre, 1996); and Montage and Modern Life: 1919-1942 (MIT Press, 1992). 

Teitelbaum is actively involved in a range of arts organizations. He is a member of the Bizot Group, the international museum directors’ organization, and a past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and chair of its nominating and governance committee. He and his wife, Susan Cohen, have two sons. 



Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) In-Conversation Series 
is generously supported in part by 


The program is organized and presented by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation. We are grateful to Christie's for their support of our joint program. The AAMC & AAMC Foundation is not affiliated with Harvard University, nor is the "In-Conversation: Museum Directors on the Curatorial Role" a Harvard University program or activity. The information presented here is subject to change without notice. The organizers assume no responsibility for any errors that may appear here, and in no event shall the organizers be liable for incidental or consequential damages arising from use of this document or other program-related material. This document and parts thereof must not be reproduced or copied without the organizers providing written permission, and contents thereof must not be imparted to a third party nor be used for any unauthorized purpose. 

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