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CAA Session 2014: Call for Participants
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Call for Panelists

The Art Museum Curator: Persevere, Adapt, or Reinvent

College Art Association Annual Conference | Chicago, IL


When: Friday, February 14, 2014 | 12:30 – 2:00 PM

Where: Hilton Chicago
Over the past decade, museums have undergone vast change in terms of their programs, governance, and outreach to the public.  So, too, has the role of the curator, which continues to be the most powerful link between art and audience. Today’s curators find themselves pulled in many directions, torn between their central role as custodians and interpreters of art works, and the new demands of the participatory museum. How should curators position themselves within the 21st century art museum? 

This session will explore the challenges that curators face today as they balance their varied responsibilities related to exhibitions, acquisitions, collections, scholarship, trustee cultivation, etc., while also helping to shape the visitor experience. Panel participants will present case studies of particular experiences—whether they succeeded or failed—that offer insights into the perseverance, adaptation, and/or reinvention of the curatorial role in museums.  


AAMC members are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration to serve as a panelists for the upcoming CAA session sponsored by the AAMC.  The session, titled "The Art Museum Curator: Persevere, Adapt, or Reinvent" will by chaired by AAMC president, Emily Ballew Neff, Curator of American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  We are eager to present a range of opinions about how the curatorial profession, specifically within the art museum sector, has changed in the past ten years, and how these changes have impacted the individual and collective role of the curator within the institution. What are the differences between a curator in 2000 and a curator today? Have the traditional roles of the curator changed and if so, how?  Are the changes productive for the curator and their institutions? How is the profession evolving to meet new institutional demands? How is it defending traditional priorities? Are curators an active part of organization change? Does the profession need further reinvention?

Potential panelists should be prepared to present for no more than fifteen minutes.  The session, which has averaged 75 - 100 attendees in the past, will be a mixed audience of curators, academics, students, and other arts professions.  The session does not require CAA membership status to participate or to attend.  Some travel funding may be available for panelists traveling to Chicago.  

TO APPLY, please complete the form below.  DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 31, 2013.  

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