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Curators Thinking Digitally
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Curators Thinking Digitally
Live Webinar
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
2 - 3 pm ET


The rise of digital technology in the twenty-first century is expanding the purview of curators so that it includes the creation of meaningful and dynamic digital experiences related to collections, exhibitions, installations, and scholarly research.

This webinar spotlights two case studies of curators learning to think and work digitally. The first example comprises the digital projects spearheaded by Lee Glazer, Curator of American Art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. She recognized that the multi-layered history of the Freer’s Peacock Room is particularly well suited to digital storytelling and worked with colleagues inside and outside the museum to develop an interactive website and a free app for iPad and iPhone. The second example is a broader, ongoing project: the digital transformation of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. There, Christina Nielsen, Curator of Collections, is working closely with Carolyn Royston, Director of Digital and Information Services, to place curatorial content at the center of the Gardner’s ambitious new digital initiatives.

Meet the Speakers

Lee Glazer
, Curator of American Art, Freer Gallery of Art | Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
, Smithsonian Institution
Trinita Kennedy
, Curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts; Moderator

Christina Nielsen
, William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection and Exhibition Program, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Carolyn Royston
, Director of Digital and Information Services, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


(listed alphabetically) 

Lee Glazer, Curator of American Art Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Associate curator of American art Lee Glazer has a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and has lectured and published on a wide range of art historical topics, including nineteenth-century popular illustration and song, the artist Romare Bearden, and James McNeill Whistler and American aestheticism. Since coming to the Freer and Sackler in 2007, Dr. Glazer has organized a series of thematic installations including “Winslow Homer: Four Views of Nature”; “Seascapes: Tryon and Sugimoto”; and “Chinamania: Whistler and the Victorian Craze for Blue-and-White Porcelain.” She is the author of A Perfect Harmony: The American Collection in the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art (2013) and co-editor of James McNeill Whistler in Context (2008), East West Interchanges in American Art (2012), and of Palaces of Art: Whistler and the Art Worlds of Aestheticism (2013). Recently, she reinstalled the Peacock Room to its appearance in 1908, when its shelves were filled with Asian ceramics collected and arranged by museum founder Charles Lang Freer, and is the author of the accompanying publication, The Peacock Room Comes to America (2012). Dr. Glazer is also interested in using new media to make the Freer’s American art accessible to a wider audience. She oversaw the creation of the interactive website The Story of the Beautiful: Freer, Whistler and their Points of Contact and recently produced an app for iPad and iPhone on the history of the Peacock Room.

Trinita Kennedy, Curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts; Moderator

Trinita Kennedy is a curator at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. She previously worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as Research Associate for Venice and the Islamic World, 828–1797, an exhibition shown in Paris, New York, and Venice in 2006–7 with an accompanying catalogue in French, English, and Italian. At the Met, she was also a Chester Dale Fellow in the Robert Lehman Collection in 2002–3. Since joining the Frist Center’s curatorial staff in 2007, she has presented more than twenty exhibitions with art ranging in date from antiquity to present. Highlights include Indelible: The Photographs of Lalla Essaydi, Constable: Oil Sketches from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Michelangelo, Sacred and Profane: Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti, and Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting. Her research, publications, and talks focus primarily on the art and architecture of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy and her 2014 exhibition Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy was recognized with a First-Place Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators, while its catalogue received Honorable Mention from the AAMC and was also a finalist for the ACE/Mercer’s International Book Award. She is currently planning the first American museum exhibition on painting and illumination in medieval Bologna, which is scheduled for the fall of 2020 and will be accompanied by a catalogue and symposium. 

Christina Nielsen, William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Dr. Christina Nielsen is the William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection and Exhibition Program at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where she leads initiatives that give different audiences greater access to the Gardner’s extraordinary collections of fine art, rare books, and archival items. These include a new Guidebook for visitors (Yale University Press, 2017) and several upcoming exhibitions. She has also worked with a cross-departmental team responsible for a new website that launches this spring, and on the prototype for a new digital tour. Most recently, she curated Off The Wall: Gardner and her Masterpieces, an exhibition that showcased twenty-five of the Gardner’s most renowned paintings in a new light and told the stories behind their acquisition.

She received her PhD in art history from the University of Chicago, and has published widely on medieval art, and on the history of collecting in 19th-20th century America. Before joining the Gardner in 2014, Christina was at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she curated a number of exhibitions, including Late Roman and Early Byzantine Treasures from the British Museum; Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus, and The Silk Road and Beyond: Travel, Trade, and Transformation. While there, she served a two-year term as the president of the Art Institute’s Curatorial Forum. She has served on the board of the International Center for Medieval Art and on several committees for the AAMC, including the Career Support Committee, which she will Co-Chair starting in May 2017.

Carolyn Royston, Director of Digital and Information Services, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Carolyn is Director of Digital and Information Services at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, where she is leading an ambitious digital program to re-imagine and build a forward-thinking digital presence, which will have an essential role in implementing the Gardner's overall strategic plan. She is also President of MCN (Museum Computer Network), a not for profit organization that represents a wide range of information professionals from cultural sector institutions in the United States and around the world. MCN is celebrating its 50th anniversary year in 2017.

Previously, Carolyn was an independent consultant working with cultural organizations to transform the way they use digital technologies to effect change. Clients included: English Heritage, J. Paul Getty Trust, Canadian History Museum, British Council, National Museum Wales, National Museums Scotland. Former Head of Digital at IWM (Imperial War Museums, UK), Carolyn was responsible for the strategic development of digital media and the management and delivery of all public facing digital outputs across the Museum’s five sites. Before joining IWM, Carolyn was Project Director of the National Museums Online Learning Project (NMOLP), a flagship UK project led by the V&A (Victoria &Albert Museum, UK), where she was responsible for coordinating and managing the needs of 9 national museums and galleries to create an ambitious, cross-collection program of e-Learning resources.

Additional Resources



AAMC & AAMC Foundation's Webinar Program

AAMC Foundation offers webinars on essential skills, timely issues, and latest discoveries that define the profession of Art Curator and enhance understanding and development in the field, through online webinars. All of AAMC’s programming and overall efforts shall strive to be representative of diversity across fields of expertise, types of institutional mission, regional positions, and self-identifications (by nation, gender, creed, race) of participants. The more diverse our voices, the more dynamic our offerings.

Beginning in 2017, professional development webinars will be open to members and non-members through the AAMC Foundation with a registration fee. Access to the recordings of the webinars will be for registrants only for 12 months, and then will be open to the general public. The availability to purchase an archived recording will be available. Please visit our resource page to see an archive of past webinars and other information.


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