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Keynote Panel

Looking Forward Ten Years: What is the Museum of 2021?

About the Panel

Asked to envision the art museum of the year 2021, this year’s extraordinary panelists will present their views on the challenges and opportunities in museums of the next decade.

About the Panelists

Paola Antonelli

Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design of The Museum of Modern Art, where she has worked since 1994. Through her exhibitions -- among them Design and the Elastic Mind in 2008 -- teachings and writing, Paola strives to promote a deeper understanding of design's transformative and constructive influence on the world. She is very proud of a recent acquisition into MoMA's Collection: the @ sign. She is working on several exhibition ideas -- including the upcoming Talk to Me -- and on the book Design Bites, about basic foods taken as examples of outstanding design.

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University

K. Anthony Appiah is Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He was born in London, grew up in Ghana, and took BA and PhD degrees in philosophy at Cambridge University. He has taught philosophy in Ghana, France, Britain, and the United States. Among his books are In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. His most recent book, The Honor Code, discusses the role of honor in moral change in a number of episodes in China, Britain, Pakistan. Professor Appiah has written about cosmopolitanism as a guiding spirit for museums and wrote an essay on African Art for the Guggenheim's 1996 show Africa: The Art of a Continent. He is also deeply engaged with the defense of free expression around the world as a member and President of the PEN American Center.

Linda Shearer

Executive Director, Project Row Houses

Appointed the Executive Director of Houston’s Project Row Houses in September 2009, Linda Shearer has been working in museums in the United States for nearly 40 years, and her focus has been on contemporary art. She arrived in Houston three years ago to serve as interim director at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). Prior to coming to Houston, she served as director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and from 1989 to 2004, at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, she worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for 11 years before becoming director in 1980 at one of the earliest alternative spaces in the country -- Artists Space, also in New York. She served as curator in the Painting and Sculpture Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1985 to 1989 and was responsible for the Projects series there.

A native of Long Island, New York, she also attended graduate school at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She has taught contemporary art history at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and at Williams College. She has participated in many panel discussions, juries, government consultancies, lecture series and served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Association of Art Museum Directors, as well as on the advisory comittee for the Los Angeles Musuem of Contemporary Art. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Arts (AFA), the advisory committee for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Exhibition Committee of Independent Curators Internaitonal (iCI).

Moderated by: Philippe de Montebello

Director Emeritus, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fiske Kimball Professor in the History and Culture of Museums,

Institute of Fine Arts of New York University

Philippe de Montebello, the first-ever Director Emeritus of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is recognized throughout the world as one of the field's most influential and articulate champions of integrity, authority, education, and public access. In December 2008, the dean of American museum directors retired after 32 years as the longest-serving director in the Met’s nearly 140-year-long history.

Under his leadership the Museum nearly doubled in size, vastly increasing its exhibition space. The Metropolitan also acquired significant collections and individual masterpieces, mounted acclaimed international loan exhibitions, developed wide-reaching educational programs, and reinstalled much of its permanent collections in new and refurbished galleries. In fall 2008, the curators of the institution paid tribute to Mr. de Montebello’s tenure by mounting an unprecedented tribute exhibition of some 300 major works that entered the collections under his leadership, entitled The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions.

In 2008 Mr. de Montebello became the first scholar in residence at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and joined the Board of Trustees of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. In the fall of 2009, Mr. de Montebello launched a new academic career as the first Fiske Kimball Professor in the History and Culture of Museums at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University and as a special advisor for NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus. He is currently co-host with Paula Zahn of the WNET/PBS weekly culture series Sunday Arts, and serves as Special Advisor to the Leon Levy Foundation. He continues to lecture throughout the world on art, museums, and other cultural matters.

Mr. de Montebello was born in Paris and received his early education in France. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received a master’s degree in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. With the exception of four and a half years as director of Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, he has spent his entire career at the Metropolitan. His numerous international honors include the Officier de la Légion d'Honneur; the Amigos del Museo del Prado Prize; and Knight Commander, Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great. He has received a number of honorary degrees, notably from Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and New York University.

In March 2003, The President of the United States awarded him The National Medal of Arts, noting that by "promoting wide-reaching programs that bring art to the American people, he has helped to preserve, protect, and present the cultural and artistic heritage of our world."

Long the narrator of the Museum's Audio Guide programming—which now features a "Selections from the Director Emeritus” tour that he recorded in five of the eight different languages offered—Mr. de Montebello's has become one of the most instantly recognizable and respected voices in the cultural world.

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