ArtTalk – (re)Framing the Bucks County Art Canon
Art museums are often academic institutions, presenting art from a Euro-American canonical perspective. But we know that art is personal. What you see in a piece of art is influenced by what you’ve already seen, what you’ve experienced.
Art institutions that have traditionally displayed art and authoritative analysis for our edification are now asking curators from different backgrounds to design exhibits. And they’re asking visitors what they think about the works on display. Rather than a lesson in art history, it’s a conversation.
Our own Michener Art Museum has recently mounted such a show called (re)Frame: Community Perspectives on the Michener’s Art Collection. Curators with multiple social and environmental viewpoints have selected familiar works and shared their personal interpretations.
But what does this mean for the role of the museum as educator? And how will it affect our experience as art lovers?
Join our conversation about the exhibit with Dr. Laura Igoe, Chief Curator, and Joshua Lessard, Director of Exhibitions, as well as hear from some of the guest curators.
Laura Turner Igoe PhD, is the Chief Curator at the Michener Art Museum. She specializes in American art and material culture of the long 19th century. Before the Michener Museum, she held curatorial positions at the Harvard Art Museums, Princeton University Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Igoe is the coeditor of A Greene Country Towne: Philadelphia’s Ecology in the Cultural Imagination and has contributed essays to the journals American Art, Panorama, Common-place, and the exhibition catalogue Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment.
Michener’s Director of Exhibitions, Joshua Lessard, is an award-winning designer and registered architect. Before joining the Michener, Lessard worked as Exhibition Architect and Designer at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. With over a decade of experience managing projects of various scales, he currently sits on Michener’s Executive Team and serves as a Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Laura hosted her own syndicated show in Virginia before joining WAMU in Washington, D.C., where she also contributed to NPR. Laura became involved in the arts while living in Singapore, where she worked as a docent and developed an interest in textiles. Today, Laura is a weaver and president of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association.