P008
Anthropology in the Art Museum

Convenors:
David Odo (Harvard Art Museums)
Shalini Le Gall (Colby College Museum of Art)
Discussant:
Joshua A. Bell (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institutuion)
Format:
Panels
Location:
British Museum - Sackler A
Start time:
2 June, 2018 at 11:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel considers the implications for museum practice and the teaching of anthropology, art history, and associated disciplines, of increased anthropological interventions in the museum and art museum challenges to anthropological thinking.

Long abstract:

Anthropologists have historically considered 'ethnographic' art to be a resource for their research and teaching, but definitions of what constitutes ethnographic--and indeed art--have not remained fixed. Some art museum collections have grown to encompass cultures of art previously considered the domain of anthropology museums. And many art museums, particularly in academic settings, now openly welcome anthropological work within their spaces, which has proven to be mutually enriching and challenging to art museums and anthropologists alike. In this panel, we will discuss the emerging role of anthropology in the art museum, exploring what anthropology and art museums can contribute to each other's practice and thinking. We welcome papers that consider: -Art collections as a resource for anthropologists -Art museum ethnography -Teaching anthropology (any field) in the art museum -Material culture in art museums -Object-based research in the art museum -Anthropology of the creative arts -Subjectivity and the role of the artist and/or artisan -Ethical questions related to art museums -Communities represented within (or outside of) art museums -Anthropological analyses of the institutional practices of art museums We also invite proposals that explore the exchange of ideas between anthropology and art museums, changing notions of the "public" in light of diversifying populations, and attempts to reconcile complex institutional histories.