Our monthly gatherings give participants an opportunity to informally chat about a dedicated topic that relates to their work as academic art museum professionals and the mission of their institutions.
If you are an academic art museum professional and would like to propose a topic for a Coffee Gathering, please contact Cali Buckley (email@example.com or 212-392-4435).
Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye is the Curator of Education and Academic Outreach at the Yale Center for British Art, where she engages Yale faculty and students with the collection. Her research focuses on the British afterlife of pre-Columbian art, and specifically how technologies of reproduction enabled the British public to learn about Mesoamerica. She is an active member of the CAA Museum Committee and curated the exhibition, “Small-Great Objects: Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas” (Feb-Jun 2017 at the Yale University Art Gallery).
Molleen Theodore is Associate Curator of Programs at the Yale University Art Gallery where she develops and oversees public programs, including lectures, panel discussions, gallery talks, performances, screenings, and studio programs. Most recently, she curated the program series in connection with the exhibition Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art. She collaborates across the museum, the university, and the community, developing partnerships to foster inter-disciplinary curricular, co-curricular, and community connections and she leads the student Program Advisory Committee. Molleen has supervised students in curating exhibitions, including Many Things Placed Here and There: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery and Jazz Lives: The Photographs of Lee Friedlander and Milt Hinton. Molleen holds a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center with a focus on the art of the 1960s and 1970s and she is a 2017 graduate of the Getty NextGen program. Molleen is a member of the Gallery’s inaugural DEIA task force, formed in 2019.
Andrea Motto is the Manager of Public & Youth Engagement at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, CT, where she specializes in educational programming and workplace learning for young adults who are members of historically marginalized populations. As director of the EVOLUTIONS Program, she works with New Haven high school students and with museum teen programs across the U.S. Dr. Motto has previously worked at the New York Hall of Science and Center of Science & Industry, and her research interests focus on power, privilege and oppression in museums and in higher education. She is a founding member of the Peabody Museum’s DEI team, which formed in 2018.
"I knew I couldn't get ahead without a master's degree"
Bruce Altshuler is Director of the Program in Museum Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University. He has held positions at the New-York Historical Society, Zabriskie Gallery, Christie’s Education, and as Director of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum. He is the author of The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th Century, Isamu Noguchi, Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History, 1863-1959, Biennials and Beyond: Exhibitions that Made Art History, 1962-2002, editor of Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art and co-editor of Isamu Noguchi: Essays and Conversations. Altshuler has published extensively and lectured internationally about exhibition and curatorial history, the history of museums, and modern and contemporary art. He has been a member of the graduate faculty of the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, and the Board of Directors of the International Association of Art Critics/United States Section (AICA/USA).
Sandra (Sandy) Lang is the Program Director of the M.A. in Visual Arts Administration and Clinical Associate Professor. A leading expert in the history of corporate collecting in the United States, Sandy was the longtime Director of The Museum of Modern Art’s Art Advisory Service, advising corporations on acquisitions and maintaining an extensive network of CEOs, senior officials, and art curators from many institutions. Sandy is also a past Executive Director of Independent Curators International (ICI) and of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA). A tireless teacher and mentor to NYU’s vibrant student and alumni bodies, Sandy speaks widely on curatorial practice, creative placemaking, and pedagogy in arts administration. She has also served previously as board member of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) and as past president of both ArtTable and the Association of Professional Art Advisors (APAA).
Laura Busby (b. Winnipeg, Canada) currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where she is pursuing her master’s degree in Visual Arts Administration at New York University Steinhardt. She has diverse experience interning with art non-profits, including the College Art Association, the Whitney Museum of American Art in the chief curator’s office and will be joining Creative Time in the spring. During her studies, and following her graduation in 2012 from the University of British Columbia in Canada with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Visual Art & Theory, she worked as an educator and arts administrator at the Vanco uver Art Gallery for nearly seven years.
Olivia Knauss is a second-year master’s student in NYU’s Museum Studies Program with an interest in development and fundraising. Since starting her program in 2018, Knauss has interned in various development departments including the Tenement Museum, the Met, and, in the spring of 2020, the External Affairs Department at the MoMA. In addition to her museum work, she has also worked as CAA’s RAAMP Program Assistant. Before moving to New York City, Olivia worked at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology as a grant writer and Phillips Exeter Academy’s Lamont Gallery as a Collections Assistant & Archives Coordinator. She received her B.A. in Art & Art History from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and is originally from Buffalo, NY.
"My goal is to...make it part of the campus experience."
Michael Dickins, the Curator and Director of the New Gallery and University Collections at Austin Peay University, shares his inventive campus plan which enables him to share the permanent collection with the campus and create curatorial projects for current students. In this Coffee Gathering, he shares the bumps he encountered along the way and his creative solutions.
To better understand the range of job descriptions and promotional review criteria that apply to those who perform curatorial work at academic museums or galleries, Meredith Lynn and Claire L. Kovacs created a survey which they shared with their colleagues in the field. In this Coffee Gathering, the pair reveal their findings and resources they have compiled.
Meredith Lynn: "What this [research] has reinforced for me though is that we aren't going to get things unless we advocate for ourselves. It means that we need to be more informed and also get over some of our hang ups about asking for things. And so for me it's been reinforced that I'm going to have to continue my own development, and negotiation, and advocacy skills on my own behalf."
Claire L. Kovacs: "And, jumping off that point, I think these conversations of not just asking for it...but also that we're communicating with each other...and sharing with each other the realities of our jobs so we're not all operating in the dark, in our own isolated spaces. I think that's really important as well. Because that helps me advocate for myself and it helps me lift all of our boats up."
"It can be hard to advocate because we are in some ways considered
part of a peer group of faculty and staff at our institutions
but also separate from them."
In this Coffee Gathering Nicola Lees (Director and Curator of 80WSE at Steinhardt School at New York University), discusses the role artists have played as self-organizers, as either curators or presenters of their own art and art by others. She also discusses the ways artists have unlearned, dis-invented, and deliberately misunderstood how works of art are circulated and displayed within institutional practice.
"The way we function doesn’t fit into a traditional academic [system]… We’re trying to be a space where that can be thought through in different ways." - Nicola Lees
In this Coffee Gathering Amber Inwood (Museum Education Specialist for the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University) shared her experience developing a pilot training program for gallery educators, which focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
"We are also very fortunate to have a design space that is very relatable and inclusive. The Barry Art Museums’ exhibition spaces are designed under the premise of the slow art movement. Essentially, the slow art movement is a design principle, but also a museum principle, in which the objects are placed within the space according to how they relate to one another. It is visitor centric. The number one goal is that any visitor coming into the space has an emotional connection...I had a five-year-old little boy come in here and say to me that he felt like he was in a box of crayons." - Amber Inwood
"Digital art is more like liquid. One of the great advantages of it is that through connection it can flow into anyone's device, so it has an amazing ability to spread wider and farther out." - C.J. Yeh
In this Coffee Gathering Cali Buckley, CAA’s Grants and Special Programs Manager, discusses curating digital art with Professor C.J. Yeh and Exhibitions Manager Austin Thomas from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in house at CAA’s headquarters.
In this Coffee Gathering Dana Carlisle Kletchka, an Assistant Professor of Art Museum Education in the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy at The Ohio State University discusses post-critical art museum education theory; professional development for PreK–12 teachers in art museum contexts; the use of social media and digital technologies on interpretation and engagement in the art museum; and the professional positionality of art museum educators within the profound paradigmatic shift of art museums over the last 40 years.
"I don't want to miss the chance to say be bold and try not to allow the controversy and personal toll to keep you from doing the next big, bold thing." -Saralyn Reece Hardy
"I think it's really important you keep pushing. You know, this kind of kicked the door open to have this conversation and it was a conversation we had been asked not to really have. And since since, we've been having it in a lot of different ways." - Matthew Clay-Robinson
This Coffee Gathering includes leaders and facilitators:
Saralyn Reece Hardy is the Marilyn Stokstad Director at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. Prior to her time there, she served as Director of Museums and Visual Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts and as Director of the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kansas.
Matthew Clay-Robison is Gallery Director at York College of Pennsylvania. His curatorial philosophy focuses on the intersection of visual art and social justice. His own work as an artist addresses sociopolitical issues through printmaking. He holds a BFA from the University of Connecticut and MFA from the University of Maryland.
Daniel Bejar is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Bejar was a fellow at the New York Foundation for the Arts and received grants from the Franklin Furnace Fund Grant and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, among others.
This Coffee Gathering features a special extended hour-and-a-half Coffee Gathering with our hosts, Jessica Cloer, Diane Hart, and Ariana Webber, as they discuss different models of student art lending programs at the Rose Art Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center.
This Coffee Gathering addresses different approaches to training instructors from any discipline to integrate permanent collections and special exhibitions into their teaching, highlights a recent faculty workshop model adopted by Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum, and considers key partnerships within parent institutions to facilitate the training process. The discussion is led by Liliana Milkova, Curator of Academic Programs at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, and co-facilitated by Hunter O’Hanian, Executive Director of CAA.
The discussion is led by Berit Ness, Assistant Curator for Academic Initiatives at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago.
This Coffee Gathering is led by Joyce Tsai, Curator at the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, Clinical Associate Professor at the College of Education, University of Iowa, and Director, Intermedia Research Initiative, University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art.