Deaccessioning is quite a fraught concept for collecting institutions, often alluding to a variety of ethical problems. The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) decided to use funds from a $16.1 million-dollar sale of works (including those of Warhol and Rauschenberg) to further collect works by underrepresented artists and collectives. In wall text of the current exhibition, Now is the Time: Recent Acquisitions to the Contemporary Collection, to present these new acquisitions, the BMA noted that “the disparity in price between the seven works sold and the 125 acquired speaks to ongoing racism and sexism as reflected in the market’s uneven valuation of artists.”
One year after institutional commitments were made, what remains to be done? Or perhaps the better question is, what, if anything, has been done?
Leona Godin’s There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness will be published on June 1, 2021. Noted by Penguin Random House, “From Homer to Helen Keller, from Duneto Stevie Wonder, from the invention of braille to the science of echolocation, M. Leona Godin explores the fascinating history of blindness, interweaving it with her own story of gradually losing her sight.”
The Quarantine Tapes, Episode 192 is a conversation between Paul Holdengräber and poet and new director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Kevin Young. Two major talking points include an ode to Topeka, Kansas and a beautiful meditation on how curation, exhibition spaces, and poetic caesura are related.
IBPOC Tea & Talk June 4, 2021: 10:00 AM
Connect with museum, gallery, and heritage IBPOC professionals from across British Columbia. Brew a mug of tea, and join Network Coordinator Sarah to catch up, ask questions, seek advice, and chat.
June 2-June 4, 2021: Register for free or by donation to the conference [Collective Liberation] Disrupt, Dismantle, Manifest to talk about the future of museums combatting racial inequality and white supremacy.
June 17, 2021: Laura Raicovich’s new book Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest comes out on June 15, 2021 by Verso Books. Join Laura who will be in conversation with activist, writer, and Executive Director of MediaJustice Malkia Devich-Cyril on where the museum institution stands within political turmoil. Free.
June 23, 2021: Join admissions teams from Museum Studies programs offered by American universities to learn about academic opportunities in this sector. Presented by the American Alliance of Museums Museum Studies Network.
AccessAbility Week: May 30 to June 5, 2021 The first week of June each year is National AccessAbility Week in Canada. As inclusion in the arts necessitates working from intersectional perspectives, it is pivotal to elevate the experiences of Deaf and/or disabled museum workers, patrons, and programs.
June 2, 2021 – VocalEye Almost Live – Imagine Van Gogh
Host Amy Amantea will be joined by Visual Arts Programmer, Jessa Alston-O’Connor, who will share her experience of the exhibit, and Crowd-Source Coordinator Jiten Beairsto, who will facilitate a crowd-sourced description of two Van Gogh paintings: a Self-Portrait and the famous Starry Night. Program is free to join but participants must register. VocalEye’s programs are designed primarily for blind and low-vision guests. Sighted guests and museum colleagues are welcomed (please do also register beforehand)!
Are you interested in learning about and providing more accessibility options at your museum or institution? VocalEye has been working with local and provincial arts organizations and museums over the past decade to bring audio description to exhibitions, theatre shows, and cultural festivals. Learn more about VocalEye’s work here: http://vocaleye.ca/
Learn more about the importance of representation and inclusion in audio description and the community of audio describers pushing for more work at the intersection of race and accessibility in “Describing Diversity: An exploration of the description of human characteristics and appearance within the practice of theatre audio description”
June 4, 2021 – Art Gallery of Ontario – Multisensory Museum with Shivani Gulati
A collaboration between OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Multisensory Museum Course and the Art Gallery of Ontario, this talk will be presented by Shivani Gulati as she guides participants through a multisensory translation of Carl Schaefer’s Storm over the Fields. Free.