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AAMC Concludes Virtual Art Curators Conference Welcoming 385 Attendees from 16 Countries

Wednesday, May 6, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Casey Collier
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May 7, 2020, New York, NY — The Association of Art Museum Curators and AAMC Foundation concluded its first virtual Art Curators Conference on Tuesday, May 5. Originally planned for Seattle, the nonprofit’s 18th consecutive conference welcomed 385 attendees from 16 countries and 235 art organizations. Advancing AAMC’s mission to connect the curatorial community, the program addressed ongoing issues of inclusions, advocacy, and access, as well as the impact of the current health crisis.  

Following the conference, AAMC and AAMC Foundation will continue its already expanded online programming, presenting more than double the amount of webinars typically held.  Upcoming topics will investigate our arts community now, inclusivity in isolation, international perspectives on interpretation, future for internships and fellowships, public monuments, and a three-part series on provenance.  Ongoing since early March, Curator Gatherings will continue two-three times a week through June.  Additional resources, including past webinars and conferences dating back to 2012, were also made freely available at  

“At a time when our community is seeking connections, we were pleased to bring together curators and thought-leaders, from around the world, for our Arts Curator Conference, adding it to the deep resources we already provide hold online,” noted Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, AAMC & AAMC Foundation. “While disappointing not to be able to gather in Seattle, and experience the cultural resources of the city, our virtual conference expanded access to the program.”

The 2020 Art Curators Conference began with a ‘wish you were here’ welcome video from the Seattle Art Museum, providing a touching connection to the original host city.  Of great interest to attendees was the conversation held by conference lead sponsor Perkins Coie LLP on Collectors and Museums: Legal Perspectives, which investigated the complicated current situation with artwork loans, contract modifications, and online copyright. Another highlight was a two-hour intensive Inclusive Hiring workshop moderated by Joy Bailey Bryant of Lord Cultural Resources, including discussions on reimagining a hiring and onboarding process and establishing positive internal environments that are inclusive, diverse and accessible. 

The first of two keynote discussions was between Kaywin Feldman, Director of the National Gallery of Art, and Sasha Suda, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, moderated by Judith Pineiro, Executive Director of AAMC & AAMC Foundation.  Their dialogue presented a unique opportunity to hear from two National Museum directors offering insight into our museum communities current view and future ahead.  

The second keynote conversation was held between Vishakha Desai, President Emerita Asia Society and Senior Research Scholar in Global Studies, Columbia University and Barbara Earl Thomas, Visual Artist and Writer, moderated by Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture, Seattle Art Museum; Conference Benefit Committee Co-Chair.  The conversation shared their individual journeys, perspectives on art and community, and encouraged envisioning a new way forward for our cultural sector.

Panels included (in the order which they were held), Curating in a Decentered World, Curating Indigeneity: Identity, Presence & Narratives, Shifting Curatorial Practice Across Borders, Latinx Art is American Art, Local Voices: Collaboration at the University of Washington, and Problematizing the "Global".  

Each day’s sessions began with a land acknowledgment recognizing the Indigenous and Native lands hosting the virtual conference and encouraging everyone to connect with and research the tribal groups in their area. The program also adhered to a code of conduct for all, ensuring a fair and equitable space free of harassment. For more information on the conference, visit

About AAMC & AAMC Foundation 
Founded in 2001, the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation advances the curatorial field through forward-looking leadership in development and educational opportunities for learning and connecting at every stage of a curator’s career. In partnership with more than 1,300 members, we serve as a resource for the profession’s best practices, codes of conduct and ethical standards. We provide a platform for the exchange of a broad range of information on critical issues driving the field, including diversity and inclusion, digital innovation, artistic voices and histories, and marketing and audience engagement. Our members include independent curators and staff members from 500+ art organizations and museums in eighteen countries, ranging from leading national institutions to community-based art organizations. Through our work we serve members, professional colleagues, and the public, and our outreach reflects diverse perspectives within the field, often examining strategic directions of curatorial practice and art organization management. With a network spanning the globe, we are an ambassador and advocate for all art curators and the leading champion of their significant contributions.

Judith Pineiro, Executive Director,

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