Museums Talk: From The USA


Istanbul Modern Welcomed Museums From The USA

MUSEUMS TALK: FROM THE USA was a lecture series that enabled prominent museum professionals from the US to meet with Istanbul audiences. 10 talks from 10 museums in the USA were hosted between November 2012 – November 2014.

The evolution of museology and art institutions in the US has deeply influenced current museum practices and the operations of cultural institutions around the world. For this reason, museum directors, curators and department directors from established art museums in the US represent a vital source of knowledge and experience. MUSEUMS TALK: FROM THE USA proposed a conversation platform where contemporary museology and museum experience in the US were discussed.

Each lecture focused on a critical topic, such as museum management, curatorial practices, collections and archives, audience development and public relations, education and social programs, event programming, local and global marketing and communication strategies, new technologies, the re-definition of interior museum spaces and museum architecture.

Organized in partnership with the US Mission in Turkey, MUSEUMS TALK: FROM THE USA featured professionals from SFMOMA, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of the Moving Image, MoMA, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Getty Research Institute for discussions on museum marketing, education, digital media, architecture and visitor experience. The series ended with lectures from the Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art and the New Museum.


MUSEUMS TALK: Pushing Boundaries - Walker Art Center’s New Media Initiatives

Robin Dowden, New Media Initiatives Director, Walker Art Center

Thursday December 4, 2014. 19.00

The Walker Art Center established in 1927 is recognized internationally as a singular model of a multidisciplinary arts organization. As a contemporary arts center revered throughout the world for the range and vitality of its visual arts, performing arts, and media arts programs, the Walker holds the prominence of being a national leader for its innovative approaches to audience engagement.

New Media Initiatives Director Robin Dowden discussed the history of the Walker Art Center program in the context of the museum’s current digital strategy. She focused her lecture on two key questions regarding new media initiatives in the museums: What does it mean to be the digital museum of the future? How does the virtual museum serve a wide range of objectives from prompting on site visitation and program contextualization to building new audiences and extending our brand online? 

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MUSEUMS TALK: Programming in Contemporary Art Museums

Joint Talk: Karen Wong, Deputy Director, New Museum ve Julia Kaganskiy, NEW INC Director, New Museum

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 19.00

Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation. The New Museum has a long history of incubating ideas, programs, and artworks demonstrated in such successful initiatives as IDEAS CITY and NEW INC.

IDEAS CITY is a biennial Festival in New York City that includes conferences, workshops, and a StreetFest around the Bowery, that are forums for exchanging ideas, proposing solutions, and accelerating creativity. IDEAS CITY Global Conferences take place in key cities around the world. Emphasis is placed on that particular city’s unique situation and its position in the context of global urbanism. NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator, is a shared workspace and professional development program designed to support creative practitioners working in the areas of art, technology, and design. Karen Wong, Deputy Director, and Julia Kaganskiy, NEW INC Director of the New Museum shared the vision and progress on these unique initiatives. 

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MUSEUMS TALK: A Case Study On the New Building Project of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art

Tuesday, October 21, 2014. 19.00

The Whitney Museum of American Art was founded by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney on behalf of living American artists who found it nearly impossible to exhibit or sell their work in the United States. Recognizing the obstacles these artists faced, Mrs. Whitney began purchasing and showing their work, thereby becoming the leading patron of American art from 1907 until her death in 1942.

In 1914, Mrs. Whitney established the Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village, where she presented exhibitions by living American artists whose work had been disregarded by the traditional academies. The Whitney Museum of American Art was founded in 1930, and opened in 1931 on West Eighth Street in Greenwich Village.

The Museum moved to an expanded site on West 54th Street in 1954. Having outgrown that building by 1963, the Museum acquired its present site on Madison Avenue at 75th Street. This building, designed by Marcel Breuer, opened in 1966.
In 2011, the Whitney Museum broke ground on a new building in the Meatpacking District in downtown Manhattan—just blocks from its original site on Eight Street.

In its iconic new home with varied and flexible spaces for exhibitions and programming and dedicated education and scholarly facilities, the Museum will manifest its core mission as never before.  For the first time, the Whitney will be able to provide a comprehensive view of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art alongside groundbreaking temporary exhibitions. In his lecture, Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art shared the Museum’s plans for its new 200,000 square-foot Renzo Piano-designed building scheduled to open in the spring of 2015. Mr. Weinberg discussed the future of the Whitney Museum within the context of its remarkable eight decade history of visionary collecting and programming.

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Museums Talk: Archive and Documentation

Prof. Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Director, The Getty Research Institute

The Getty Research Institute’s Global Commitment to Research Projects and Resources

 Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 19.00

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) is dedicated to a global approach in
art-historical research and scholarship. This mission is reflected in all GRI departments, programs, and initiatives, which work in unison to support and advance the “global turn” in art history. The GRI’s acquisition policy seeks to establish connections between Western and non-Western artistic traditions. These collections in turn support the various GRI programs, such as the scholars program, where art historians from around the world conduct research while in residence at the GRI. These scholarly activities result in exhibitions, publications, and other research projects, making the localized resources available to a broader public. Mr. Gaehtgens's lecture illustrated the connections between and global orientation of the GRI’s collections, conservations projects, scholarly initiatives, exhibitions, and publications with one case study: the recently acquired archive of Harald Szeemann, one of the most influential curators of the 20th century.

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Museums Talk: Registration

Melissa Front, Senior Registrar, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 19.00

The Good, The Bad, and The Digital:

Registration Challenges in Modern and Contemporary Art

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, is the Smithsonian Institution museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art.  The museum boasts a rich collection of over 12,000 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper-- including works by Bacon, Bourgeois, Calder, de Kooning, Nevelson, and Still-- aswell as a growing collection of audio, film, video, and computer-based works (time-based media).  Since its opening in 1974, HMSG has featured over 340 exhibitions and each year it lends nearly 100 permanent collection objects to venues worldwide. What is the museum registrar’s role in managing these collections and exhibitions?  What systems and resources are used?  How do the registrars handle the daily challenges and changing needs of modern and contemporary art, along with the ongoing challenge of limited funding, staff, and space?  And what are the rewards of all this hard work? This presentation answered these questions with examples from the Hirshhorn’s recent collection move, Cinema Effect traveling exhibition, and its experience as a venue for the Ai Weiwei retrospective According to What? Also presented are a brief history of HMSG’s time-based media collection and an overview of how the museum is adapting its collection management practices to better care for these complex and inherently unstable works.


Museums Talk: Architecture in the Museum / Architecture of Museums

Barry Bergdoll

The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA

Thursday, January 31, 2013, 19.00

The Museum of Modern Art was the first museum in the world to develop a sustained Department of Architecture and to take on the paradoxical task of exhibiting architecture to a general audience. Barry Bergdoll, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design since 2006, discussedthe various modes of bringing architecture into the museum, as well as the role of the museum today in creating a public for architecture using examples from MoMA's long history of engagement with contemporary designers as well as current and future projects.   Together with MoMA PS1, the Museum's contemporary art space, MoMA has developed with the Young Architect's Program an experimental format for engaging design and urban culture that, since summer 2013, includes Istanbul among its vibrant venues. 

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Museums Talk: Education

Christopher Wisniewski

Deputy Director for Education & Visitor Experience, Museum of the Moving Image

Friday, January 18, 2013, 19.00

Christopher Wisniewski  examined the changing field of museum education. He discussed the ways in which museums can use educational programming to supplement school-based learning and to engage diverse audiences in both formal and informal contexts. Drawing on case studies from the Museum of the Moving Image, which reopened in January 2011 after a major expansion and renovation, as well as from the field at large, Wisniewski explored how new technologies and concurrent innovations in teaching and learning are influencing both the practice and goals of museum education in the 21st century.

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Museums Talk: Digital Media

Erin Coburn, Former Chief Officer of Digital Media, Metropolitan Museum

Friday, December 14, 2012, 19.00 

Erin Coburn  spoke about the use of digital media to enhance the visitor experience. Coburn providedinsights into how digital media and new technologies can alter the process of viewing, exploring and experiencing works of art in museums and give examples of the opportunities they offer to reach beyond the museum to online visitors.

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Museums Talk: Marketing

Laura Miller, Director of Marketing, Guggenheim Museum, NYC

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 17.00 

Laura Miller discussed how marketing practices at museums have evolved over the last few years. In particular, she focused on the rapid expansion of interactive web and social media initiatives, which have expanded the Guggenheim’s ability to reach both local and global audiences. Through a variety of recent case studies, she also explored marketing’s role in developing successful strategies and tactics for engaging increasingly diverse audiences on-site, off-site and on-line.

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Museums Talk: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Neal BenezraDirector, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Thursday, November 8, 2012, 19.00 

Neal Benezra presented an illustrated talk on the history and future plans of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Founded in 1935, SFMOMA is one of the oldest and finest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States. SFMOMA recently announced that the Fisher Collection, one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary art, will join the museum. Plans are underway for an expansion, to be designed by the architectural firm Snøhetta, with the aim of completingthe new building in 2016.

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