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.


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…

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The Joys of Teaching!(?)

3 06 2012

I’ve recently started teaching 20th century art history at a Denver-area art college. I love it! My students are passionate, eager, and open-minded. They contribute to our seminar-style class with thoughtful comments. They are inspiring!Wahrhol-TV

All of that being said, there are also times I don’t love it. When I realize that there are gaping holes in their education I begin to feel a little down. I begin to wonder what students are learning in high school if not proper punctuation usage and basic grammatical principles. I wonder what was more important than a basic understanding of 20th century global history. Then I begin to ask myself, how are students graduating without a solid understand of the history of their own country, especially of the 20th century? And how am I supposed to teach 20th century art, which is often a reaction to what’s happening in the larger context of our culture, if students don’t have a solid grasp on the larger context of what was happening in our culture in a given decade?

When I have to take time out of my lecture on art in order to teach history, that’s a problem. And I don’t love that.

Artist Shenanigans post 1

1 02 2012

I have a pretty great job.

I get to meet and hang out with internationally renowned artists and scholars.

And when I say meet and hang out, I mostly mean pick up from the airport and chauffeur them around town.

But I maintain, I have a pretty great job because sometimes we do hang out. And some delightful encounters have come from this arrangement. Some truly hilarious shenanigans, too. And other encounters that are simply shameful and disappointing. From time to time, I’ll share them with you. Stay tuned!

How do you use ‘curate’?

20 11 2009

I will begin this experiment in blogging by presenting an article for thought and discussion: this article from the New York Times discusses the opening-up of the word ‘curate’ in popular culture. One excerpt I find particularly worth exploring is:

The word “curate,” lofty and once rarely spoken outside exhibition corridors or British parishes, has become a fashionable code word among the aesthetically minded, who seem to paste it onto any activity that involves culling and selecting. In more print-centric times, the term of art was “edit” — as in a boutique edits its dress collections carefully.

But now, among designers, disc jockeys, club promoters, bloggers and thrift-store owners, curate is code for “I have a discerning eye and great taste.”

To my mind this brings up two important issues:

One is that this is an open critique of the perceived authority of the museum and it’s curators. Which is ok by me.

However, the other issue I see here is that this could be a dangerous development in reinforcing the perceived elite status and ultimately establishing an authority among those who ‘curate’. As the final sentence of the quote points out ‘curate’ is evolving to mean ‘having great taste’.

What are your thoughts?

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