Endings and beginnings

23 03 2014

IMG_1221 All beginnings end, leading to new beginnings. The job I consider the beginning of my museum career comes to an end this month. Next month I begin a new job at the University of Colorado Art Museum.

I am thankful for the opportunities for professional and personal development my job at the Denver Art Museum allowed. I will forever be in debt to the mentors that took me on – I could spend a lifetime learning from them. Most of all, I’m thankful for the one who finally pushed me out of the nest. Read the rest of this entry »





Some days…

19 07 2013

…my job leaves me awestruck by the incredible creativity and beauty in our world.
Yesterday was one of those days.

6.18.13 cave

This summer the Denver Art Museum is hosting an exhibition of nearly all new works by Chicago-based artist Nick Cave. The exhibition, Nick Cave:Sojourn, is breathtaking in its own right but what’s more is that the Denver Art Museum has brought not one but TWO performances with Nick’s soundsuits to Denver as well.

The first performance was June 28. Nick worked with three area dance companies to create vignettes with a variety of Nick’s wearable sculptures. The second performance is tonight in collaboration with the city of Denver’s Biennial of the Americas and will occur in the middle of Civic Center Park. Tonight’s performance features 30 of Nick’s horse soundsuits, which are created primarily from natural and synthetic raffia and weigh approximately 60 pounds. It takes two people to ‘man’ these wearable sculptures, and quite a bit of strength and coordination.

I had the good fortune of witnessing the dress rehearsal yesterday under the bright blue Colorado sky with Denver’s downtown skyline in the background. These magnificent creations truly came alive; inspiring a sense of child-like awe in all of us watching. Adults and children alike watched with glee and delight as these ‘animals’ took over the park. And I for one could not have wiped the ear-to-ear grin off of my face if I tried.





BREAKING: The Met Returns Two Khmer Statues to Cambodia, Citing Clear Evidence Of Looting

10 05 2013

Glad to see leaders of the Museum world doing what’s right. Check out this blog by the authors of Chasing Aphrodite that explains the most recent works the Metropolitan has agreed to repatriate to Cambodia.

CHASING APHRODITE

DP212330-1UPDATE: The New York Times reported May 15 that Cambodia is also planning to ask for the return of a statue of Hanuman at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This is in addition to the Norton Simon Bhima and the Denver Rama we’ve written about previously, which Cambodian officials also want returned. All are said to have been taken from the same temple complex at Koh Ker. Neither Cleveland nor Denver would disclose the origins or collecting histories of the contested statues.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return two ancient Khmer statues to Cambodia after reviewing clear evidence that they were looted. Here’s Jason’s story in Friday’s LA Times:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return two ancient statues to Cambodia after receiving convincing evidence they had been looted and smuggled out of the country illegally.

The 10th century Khmer statues, known as the Kneeling Attendants, have flanked the…

View original post 281 more words





Thesis vs. The-real-world

21 03 2013

It’s humbling to find that the research I was doing for my thesis three years ago was, in fact, relevant and timely. Props to my thesis committee chair Pat Kociolek for pushing me in the right direction! In this year’s Museums special section of the New York Times there are multiple articles addressing museums’ struggle to stay relevant with changing audiences. Especially art museums.

This article in particular caught my attention: “Museums look for ways to groom repeat visitors”.  So much of what I found in my research  is echoed in this article. I hope art museums listen; audiences are changing, and so are their expectations. Perhaps we in the art world should look more seriously at the success of science museums and aquariums. After all, are we really that different? I don’t think so.

And way to go Denver Art Museum for getting a shout out in the New York Times!

(^That’s the Denver Art Museum’s director, Christoph Heinrich!)





Art World Shenanigan Post 4 – Museum Basement Finds

8 06 2012

Today we began cleaning out a storage area in the basement of the Museum office building. Here are some of the gems we discovered:

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Another Art World Shenanigan (and another reason I love my job)

25 03 2012

How did you spend your Friday?

I spent 8 hours of mine making this installation happen for the black-tie opening gala for Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the DAM.

This installation, called Black Pearls, draped down three floors of the El Pomar Atrium at the DAM. It consisted of 2000 balloons tied to a central line of parachute cord. No big deal right?

Along with 10 of my museum peeps, I started work at 7:30am. And because the Museum was open from 10am-3pm on Friday we staged the massive 400 foot length of balloon-y goodness in the auditorium.

We cranked up a little reggae through the Museum auditorium’s dolby sound system and had a grand time blowing up and bouncing balloons around. The process took until 3pm, at which time the Museum closed and we could begin to snake the 400 feet of balloons up the stairs from the lower level to the main level of the atrium.

Once we had the massive snake of balloons in place in the atrium we began the process of fluffing and filling in the line (we invariably had some popping occur during transport). By 5:30pm we were free to leave to get ready for the gala, and arrived back at the Museum at 6:45pm all dolled-up and ready for an amazing night of fashion, friends, and cocktails. (And a little added excitement of a balloon occasionally popping!)

YSLgala

Cheers!





Good book alert: Chasing Aphrodite

5 03 2012

Who knew the antiquities market was so dirty? Or that art museums had such an appetite for stolen goods?

I recently finished Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museums by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. This book expands upon a series of Pulitzer Prize nominated exposés Felch and Frammolino wrote for the Los Angeles Times in 2006. The Getty Museum and its Board, Director, and antiquities curators were the focus of the original articles, and the central focus of the book as well. However, the Met and many other museums are not spared scrutiny in this eye-opening book.

While this book is not comprehensive of looted antiquities worldwide, its focus on the struggles with Italian and Greek antiquities looting is in-depth and extraordinary. Appropriately, the authors pin the blame for the looted antiquities trade (that flourished into the 1990’s) among all parties involved: art museum curators that failed to properly research objects provenance, art museum boards that pretended they weren’t approving the purchase of stolen objects, antiquities dealers for brings the objects to market, collectors for knowingly buying stolen objects, the looters themselves, and the Italian and Greek governments for failed efforts to guard antiquities. The authors also chronicle the changes made by US museums and the Italian government that has all but shutdown the illegal antiquities market.

Despite being a non-fiction book, the authors make it read like a novel.By the end of it, you’ll have felt a myriad of emotions for the embattled antiquities curator at the center of the Getty’s woes; she had the world on a platter, and lost it all because of hubris and carelessness.

If you’re interested in current looting issues, be sure to read this February 28,2012 New York Times article. Sotheby’s Auction House pulled a 1000 year old Cambodian warrior from its spring 2011 auction after it became clear that the object had a fake provenance and was in fact, looted.








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