Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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Curatorial Dilemmas: Representing Africa at UMMA with Christa Clarke

November 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

A series of talks by leading curators and thinkers in African art will launch a reimagining process for the forthcoming reinstallation of the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s Robert and Lillian Montalto Bohlen Gallery of African Art. Christa Clarke, Senior Curator Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum, will be the third and final speaker in this series to contribute reflections on her own groundbreaking work in the display of African art.

Clarke is Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum, where she has organized numerous exhibitions ranging from men’s fashion to Nigerian modernism since her appointment in 2002. Clarke’s scholarship on the history of collecting and display and the politics of representation includes Representing Africa in American Art Museums: A Century of Collecting and Display (co-edited with Kathleen Berzock; 2010), which examines the impact of museum practice on the formation of meaning and public perception of African art. Her recent book, African Art in the Barnes Foundation (Rizzoli; 2015), received the James A. Porter and David C. Driskell Book Award for African American Art History and a First Place Award for Excellence from the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) in 2016.

Clarke has held fellowships at the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Clark Art Institute, and teaching appointments at NYU Abu Dhabi, University of Pennsylvania, George Washington University, Rutgers University, Purchase College, and Drew University. In addition, she was a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow in 2012 and currently serves as President of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC). In 2017-2018, Clarke will be a fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard’s DuBois Institute, where she will be working on a book project, The Activist Collector: Recovering the Story of an African American Woman in Pre-Apartheid South Africa.

Additional featured speakers include:

Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m.: Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts, Professor, UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and Consulting Curator for African Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Thursday, November 2, 7 p.m.: Pamela McClusky, Curator of African and Oceanic Art, Seattle Art Museum


Lead support for Power Contained: The Art of Authority in Central and West Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the African Studies Center.

This lecture series is presented in partnership with the University of Michigan African Studies Center, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of History of Art, Institute for the Humanities, and Museum Studies Program.

The series is presented in conjunction with the UMMA exhibition Power Contained: The Art of Authority in Central and West Africa (on view from August 19-December 31, 2017).


November 30, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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