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AAMC Conference in Detroit Concludes

Monday, May 12, 2014   (0 Comments)
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For Immediate Release


New York, NY, May 12, 2014– After four successful days of exciting programming, workshops, tours, receptions, and meetings, the thirteenth annual Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Conference and Meeting concluded on May 6, 2014.  In a show of support for the Detroit Institute of Arts and the cultural organizations of the city as a whole, this year’s conference was held in Detroit, Michigan.  Once again, the event welcomed an outstanding number of curators from across the US and Canada, with over 130 museums and more than 20 fields of discipline represented.

“While our Annual Conference allows AAMC members to reconnect with old and meet new colleagues, it also is instrumental in the professional development of curators at every level,” said Emily Ballew Neff, President of AAMC, and Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director and Chief Curator, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma,  “By holding the conference in Detroit this year, we were also able to highlight the ongoing excellence of our colleagues in the region, which was extremely important for us to do during the ongoing crisis in Detroit.”

The conference welcomed notable speakers and presenters, including Graham W. J. Beal, Director, President & CEO, Detroit Insitute of Arts; Marët Westermann, Vice President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Gregory M. Wittkopp, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research; and Emily Ballew Neff, AAMC President, Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director and Chief Curator, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma.  Sessions included, panels: Urban Ecologies and Cultural Exchange; The Conversation that Won’t Quit: Diversifying the Curatorial Field; American Curators and Exchange with Asia in the 21st Century; a workshop: Social Media for Curators 101: Know Your Platforms; and presentations in the Pecha Kucha format.  The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) sponsored an enjoyable members’ reception held at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Gary Wasserman hosted the annual Leadership Circle Dinner, a membership group made up of the organization’s lead supporters, at the Wasserman Projects.  

During the conference, the Awards for Excellence recipients were announced in the categories of museum Catalogues, Articles/Essays, and Exhibitions.  New to this year’s vetting process, the categories for Exhibitions and Catalogues were subdivided based on the operating budgets of the members’ museums. Fifteen awards were presented, in seven categories.  For more information on the awards and a list of recipients, please visit

Also announced were the 2014 Mentorship Program participants.  The AAMC Mentorship Program, launched in September 2012, reinforces AAMC’s mission to foster the professional development of curators at all levels.  The AAMC Foundation is grateful to the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation for their funding of the program. 

AAMC was welcomed by the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, The Heidelberg Project, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Power House Productions, Scrab Club, Toledo Museum of Art and Wasserman Projects.  The conference was generously supported by the ADAA; the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers; Menconi + Schoelkopf; Pace Gallery; Sam Fogg: Medieval Art, Indian and Islamic Art; Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers; Sotheby’s; and Ward & Company Works of Art. 

The next AAMC Conference will take place in New York City, May 4-6, 2015.

About the AAMC

The mission of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) is to support and promote the work of museum curators by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and advancement.   In support of these aims, the AAMC Foundation seeks to heighten public understanding of the curator's role in art museums through professional development programs, awards, and grants.  For more information, please visit

Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, 212/879-5701,


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