Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Call for Papers: Black Portraiture[s] IV

BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] IV: The Color of Silence is the eighth conference in a series of conversations about imaging the black body. We invite artists, activists, and scholars to reflect on the visual expressions of national imaginaries and political ideologies that negate racial differences and render black subjects invisible. Such ideologies are prevalent in Latin America and the Caribbean, where metaphors of mixture (mestizaje or mestiçagem) and racial harmony ignore inequality and discrimination. Similar formulations are to be found elsewhere, however, as in republican France, or among proponents of a post-racial United States, or in references to a South African “rainbow nation”, or in Jamaica’s well-known “out of many, one people” motto. Presenters will engage a range of historical and contemporary topics such as biennales, exhibitions, movements, individual artists and collectives, art markets, politics, tourism, sites of memory, Afrofuturism, fashion, dance, music, film, art, and photography. We invite papers and panel proposals on relevant topics.

The conference will be held Thursday through Saturday, March 15-17, 2018, in Havana, Cuba.
As the status of the US/Cuba relations are in flux, more information about travel will be available when the new Administration's policies are enacted. New policies and information will be posted here, as soon as it is available.

Havana, Cuba. March 15-17, 2018.


Please contact with questions.

Black Portraiture[s] IV is a collaboration with the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, Jeffrey DeLaurentis; Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University; New York University’s LaPietra Dialogues, Tisch School of the Arts, and the Institute of African American Affairs.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Position Announcement: Director and Professor of Practice, Lehigh University Art Galleries

Lehigh University seeks a dynamic and visionary Director for the Lehigh University Art Galleries, an appointment with faculty status at the rank of Professor of Practice in the Department of Art, Architecture and Design of the College of Arts and Sciences. The position presents an exceptional opportunity for an individual with demonstrated experience in museum leadership to lead an art gallery and teaching museum within one of the nation’s premier research universities, in an academic environment committed to undergraduate education.

As the chief administrative officer of the Lehigh University Art Galleries, the Director will be responsible for the administration and oversight of all programming and operations for the gallery. This includes shaping a strategic vision for exhibitions and educational programming that support the university’s core teaching and research mission; the care and stewardship of the gallery’s teaching collection; supervision of staff, student interns, and volunteers; budget management, fundraising, and donor development; marketing and communications; and a broad mission of public engagement intended to expand the impact and visibility of the gallery, its exhibitions, and collection within and beyond the campus community, and to enhance its regional and national reputation.

The Director will have demonstrated accomplishments and expertise in the above areas of administration, and a clear vision of what it means to be a vibrant and public-facing gallery and teaching museum in an interdisciplinary research university setting. Outstanding organizational management skills, excellent communication and presentation abilities, and an ability to build close working relationships within a larger institutional setting are required. The Director will hold a concurrent appointment as Professor of Practice in the Department of Art, Architecture and Design, teaching 1 to 2 courses per academic year in his or her area of expertise, preferably museum studies, curatorial practice, art history, or a closely related discipline.

Preference will be given to candidates who have prior teaching experience and at least 8 years of cumulative experience working in the museum or gallery setting, with some portion of that time spent in an advanced administrative or curatorial role. Eligible candidates will hold a master’s degree or higher in museum studies, administration, or education; curatorial studies; art history; fine arts; or other related field of study relevant to museum practice.

This is a full-time (11 month) non-tenure track, renewable position with an initial three-year appointment, reporting to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The anticipated start date is August 1, 2018.

Application Instructions

Applicants should submit a cover letter; curriculum vitae; a brief 3-4 page statement outlining their strategic vision of the role and potential of academic galleries and teaching museums in contemporary higher education; and contact information for three professional references. All materials should be submitted through Academic Jobs Online at Review of applications will begin on November 1 and will continue until the position has been filled.

About Lehigh
A private and highly selective institution ranked among the top 40 national research universities by U.S. News & World Report, Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in close proximity to New York City and Philadelphia. It serves a community of over 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the United States and across the world. The Lehigh University Art Galleries has eight full-time staff and four campus gallery spaces, including a 6,000 square foot main gallery in the university’s Zoellner Arts Center and an extensive outdoor sculpture collection. Established in 1927, it presents a rotating schedule of exhibitions and selections from a distinguished teaching collection of more than 14,000 works of art, with extensive holdings in 19th-century through contemporary art from North America, Latin America, and Europe, particularly photography and works on paper. The Department of Art, Architecture and Design is an undergraduate department with 15 full-time faculty serving approximately 90 majors and 60 minors. It offers major and minor programs in art, architecture, design, and art history, with an additional minor program in museum studies.

Lehigh University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. It seeks faculty and staff who will promote an inclusive community that affirms and advances the diverse backgrounds and experiences of its members. Lehigh offers excellent benefits, including domestic partner benefits, and is committed to helping employees balance the responsibilities of their professional and personal lives (

Monday, July 24, 2017

Position Announcement: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology SOAS

Salary Range: £42,551 - £59,225 per annum inclusive of London Allowance
Full time (35 hours per week - 1.0 FTE)
This post is fixed-term until January 2019

For full particulars and to apply.

Role and Responsibilities

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS, University of London, invites applications for a Temporary Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology, following the award of a major research grant to Dr Louise Tythacott.

The post is intended for a dynamic scholar at Lecturer or Senior Lecturer level. The post is tenable for 12 months from January 2018 to January 2019. Applications are invited from those working on the histories and theories of the collection and representation of non-Western art and material culture. Those with curatorial experience are particularly invited to apply.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts, and will be expected to teach courses to both undergraduates and taught Masters students, and collaborate productively with colleagues. The specific courses to be taught in term 2 2017/18 are Curating Cultures (MA) and Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies (MA), as well as two modules in term 1 (2018/19). The successful candidate will also be expected to convene the Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies MA programme, supervise both BA and MA dissertations, and assume administrative tasks in the School of Arts.

Skills and Experience

The successful candidate will have the ability to lecture and supervise students at all levels. A PhD in History of Art, Material Culture, Museum Studies or related subject is essential, as is experience of museum/curatorial work. The successful candidate should also have a solid track record of publications and research activity.

Further Information

For an informal discussion regarding the role, please contact Professor Anna Contadini, Head of the School of Arts or Dr Louise Tythacott, Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology of Asian Art

Competitive benefits package

As an employer of choice SOAS offers an extensive benefits package including:
• 30 days holiday plus bank holidays and additional School closure days (pro rata for part time staff)
• Pension scheme with generous employer contribution
• Various loan schemes including season ticket and IT equipment
• Cycle to Work Scheme
• Enhanced Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay provisions, childcare voucher scheme, financial support for childcare

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology in the School of Arts

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology is unique in its coverage of the arts, archaeology, architecture and material culture of Asia, Africa and the Middle East from ancient times to the present day. No other university in the world offers such a range of teaching or such a concentration of research specialists in these areas. The Department is renowned as an alternative voice to Eurocentric art history, challenging the categories often taken for granted in the study of other cultures. In the 2014 REF more than 80% of the Department’s research was judged either world-leading or internationally excellent, the third highest proportion of any institution researching the history, practice and theory of art in the UK. The department offers a uniquely broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the history of art, archaeology, architecture and material culture of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It also includes a renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art.

The School of Arts (SoA) was inaugurated in September 2012, bringing together three existing departments and centres in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, namely, the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, the Department of Music, and the Centre for Media Studies. SoA offers programmes that encompass historical and contemporary perspectives on the arts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, including ethnographic and practice-based approaches.

A major asset is the Brunei Gallery, dedicated to the display of Asian, African and Middle Eastern Art. A well established art gallery in the heart of London, the Brunei Gallery offers temporary exhibitions as well as a permanent, rotating display of the SOAS collections within the Foyle Gallery.

Completed applications must be received by 23:59 on the closing date to be considered.

Interviews will provisionally be held in the week commencing or on: 11th September 2017

If you have any questions or require any assistance with regard to the application process, please contact

We are working to achieve a diverse and representative workforce at all levels within SOAS University of London. Women and Black and Minority Ethnic groups are actively encouraged to apply for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Upcoming Symposium: 'Objects of Contention,' The Looting of the Yuanmingyuan

Spoils from the Yuanmingyuan in British Museums
Part I: Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Part II: Monday, September 25, 2017

In the autumn of 1860 British and French troops looted the Yuanmingyuan, the lavish garden estate of the Qing emperors. Campaign members then returned to Europe rich with spoils. Imperial Chinese objects from the estate, many created by imperial command, have since taken unexpected trajectories in private collections and public museums.

Objects of Contention was inspired by one special object within this history: a fragment of a Qing imperial revolving vase once housed in the Surrey Infantry Museum, Clandon Park. In the spring of 2015, fire ravaged Clandon Park and destroyed the regimental museum. Sherds of the vase have since been recovered.

The panels will take a new look at the spoliation and the military collections formed in its aftermath, the evolving position of Yuanmingyuan artefacts in UK collections, and institutional strategies for handling this material today.

Photographs of the vase may be viewed by clicking the “Revolving Vase” button at left. All photos were taken by Kate Hill 25 September 2008 and appear courtesy of the Surrey Infantry Museum.
Presented in conjunction with the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts (IESA).

Panel One: Looting the Yuanmingyuan, Plunder and Prize

August 15, 2017
5:30 – 8:30pm
The Institute of Historical Research, Wolfson Room I
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

John Roote: The Logistics of Loot. Who were the looters of the Summer Palace? What did they take and why? How did they transport their spoils to Europe and beyond? The quantity, and to some extent the make-up, of Summer Palace loot has long been controversial – how much treasure was really taken and where is it today?

John Roote is an independent scholar and author. His latest book, Destruction of Paradise (Forbidden City Books, September 2017) analyses the looting of the Summer Palace. Roote has conducted extensive research into the looters and the loot that was brought back to Europe after the Second Opium War. See also “A Scholarly Pursuit” (Orientations, July 2017) and A Love Affair with Old Beijing (Forbidden City Books, January 2016).

Kate Hill: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Yuanmingyuan, Or: How the Allied Armies Had a Lost Weekend in China, Struck Gold & Won the Second Opium War. A new look at the looting of the Yuanmingyuan, how it happened and why.
Kate Hill is a postgraduate research student at the University of Glasgow studying the impact of the spoils from the Yuanmingyuan on Victorian aesthetics. Her publications include: “The Yuanmingyuan and Design Reform in Britain”, in Collecting and Displaying China’s ‘Summer Palace’ in the West: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France (Routledge, 2017); and “Collecting on Campaign: British Soldiers in China During the Opium Wars” (JOHC, 2013). She is also creator of

Steve Johnson: The Surrey Regiments in China. Steve will discuss the involvement of The Queen’s Royal Regiment and The East Surrey Regiment in the China campaigns of 1860–63, and introduce artefacts from China in the museum collection, including the revolving vase. Sherds of the vase may be available for inspection. Please email or text +41 79 173 5682 one week prior to confirm.
Steve is Managing Curator of the Surrey Infantry Museum.

Amy Miller: Globetrotters Collecting the East: Trope, Treasure & Personal Appropriation, 1870-1900. In the late 19th century, China was an essential stop on the ‘Around the World Tour’, for Western travellers, who brought home emblems of the ‘East’, such as pieces looted from Yuanmingyuan in 1860 and appropriated from the site later as ‘souvenirs’. These material tropes reflected a vision of the ‘Orient’ created at the interstices of culture, politics, trade and travel, filtered through the personal experiences of globetrotting.
Amy Miller is a PhD candidate at University College London researching the rise of the global tourist or globetrotter in the nineteenth century and the ‘East’ as an iteration of a new, global Grand Tour. Formerly Curator of Decorative Arts and Material Culture at the National Maritime Museum, she is the author of the forthcoming The Globetrotter: Cosmopolitan travel, connecting cultures and conjuring the ‘authentic’ East in the age of Globalisation, 1870-1920 (British Library).

RSVP [helpful but not required]: or text +41 79 173 5682.

Panel Two: Yuanmingyuan Artefacts in UK museums

[final programme available August 20th]
September 25, 2017
1:30 – 5:00pm

The Institute of Historical Research, Wolfson Room I
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Adriana Turpin: Opening remarks
Adriana Turpin is the Director of the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts, United Kingdom (IESA-UK), and a founding member of the Seminar on Display and Collecting at the Institute of Historical Research.

Part I: The Surrey Vase Fragment

Kate Hill: Introduction to a porcelain puzzle. A curious fragment of a fascinating history.
Rose Kerr: 18th century imperial porcelain and its impact in the 19th - 21st centuries.
Rose Kerr is Honorary Associate of the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge, afterretiring as Keeper of the Far Eastern Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where she worked from 1978-2003. She graduated in Chinese studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies and spent a year as a student in China during the last year of the Cultural Revolution, 1975-1976. She teaches and lectures internationally, and acts as Honorary Fellow at the University of Glasgow, Chairman of the Great Britain-China Education Trust, Trustee of the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art and Museum Expert Advisor for Hong Kong. In 2015 she was created an Honorary Citizen of Jingdezhen. Author and contributor to 22 books on Asian art, she is a regular contributor to journals and magazines.

Part II: Collecting Yuanmingyuan

Liu Yang. British and French museum collections of Yuanmingyuan cultural relics.
Liu Yang is a representative of the Yuanmingyuan Management Office and author of Who Collects Yuanmingyuan? (2013).
Louise Tythacott: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France: Collecting and displaying objects from the ‘Summer Palace’ in the West. This talk will examine the succession of Western meanings and values attributed to objects from China’s Yuanmingyuan, or ‘Summer Palace’, over the past 150 years - their existence as commodities in auction houses from the 1860s; their displays in international exhibitions and public museums in Britain and France; and their status as ‘trophies of war’ in military museums in the UK.
Louise Tythacott is a Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology of Asian Art at SOAS. Her research focuses on the collecting and display of non-Western artefacts, and she has particular interests in the representation of Chinese and Buddhist art in museums. Her books include, Surrealism and the Exotic (Routledge, 2003), The Lives of Chinese Objects: Buddhism, Imperialism and Display (Berghahn, 2011), Museums and Restitution: New Practices, New Approaches (Ashgate, 2014) and Collecting and Displaying China’s ‘Summer Palace’ in the West: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France (Routledge, 2017).
Part III: The Yuanmingyuan, Museums and Restitution
Daniel Butt (Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford)
Constantine Sandis (Department of Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire)

RSVP [helpful but not required]: or text +41 79 173 5682.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Learning from the Past: Refugees Give Museum Tours in Berlin

Austin Davis, News Deeply
July 11, 2017

"The Mshatta Facade is among myriad artifacts from the ancient Islamic world that draws more than 700,000 visitors to the Pergamon Museum in this German city every year.

Dating to the 8th century in what is now Jordan, the facade was an outer wall of the winter palace of the Umayyad caliph, whose empire stretched from Spain to India. The facade came to Germany in pieces in 1903 and, after surviving the destruction of two world wars, wasn’t fully reconstructed until the 1950s.

Today the traces of the restoration are only noticeable to trained eyes like Hussam Zahim Mohammed’s, an archaeologist who immigrated to Germany from Iraq in 2005. Mohammed views the artifact as a metaphor in cross-cultural understanding that applies to Germany’s modern challenge of integrating almost 1 million Syrians and other Middle Eastern refugees.

“There are old parts and there are new parts, and we can always learn something from the old parts,” he said.

Since April, Mohammed has been one of the project directors of Multaka, an integration initiative that places refugees and other immigrants from the Islamic world at the helm of guided tours in some of Berlin’s most popular museums.

What began in December 2015 as a small tour led once a week by a handful of rotating guides has grown into an expansive project with around 24 participants.

“It’s a form of integration because we bring people together to talk about their own culture displayed in the museum as well as European culture.”

These docents lead free, Arabic-language tours of four of the German capital’s most popular museums twice a week for refugees and other immigrants from the Arab world. Paid tours in German can also be arranged.

The project doesn’t end with the tours. It also runs 18 intercultural workshops at which native Germans and refugees meet to discuss and create art together during lessons in glassmaking, photography and carpet weaving.

“It’s a form of integration because we bring people together to talk about their own culture displayed in the museum as well as European culture,” said Mohammed."

More here

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The U.K.'s First Migration Museum Wants to Remind Visitors of a Not-So-Distance Past

Sarah Shearman, Pacific Standard
July 11, 2017
"Immigration has long been a crucial issue for Britain—the island nation has a centuries-long, complex history with migrants. Recently, the topic has divided the nation politically: Before Britons headed to the polls last month for a general election, it was one of the biggest issues discussed on doorsteps nationwide. Concern about immigration's impact on jobs, houses, and services, was the driving force behind why the country voted to leave the European Union by a majority of 52 percent last year, some pundits have argued.

Nevertheless, there remains a gap in the nation's education and cultural sector when it comes to the topic of people movement. While other migrant hubs, like New York City and Paris, have museums dedicated to the study and history of immigration, the United Kingdom has been missing a similar institution for most of its history. That is, until the The Migration Museum opened in the city in late April. Though it's currently based in a temporary arts space, the museum is seeking a permanent location.

The museum is the brainchild of the Migration Museum Project, an organization that stages exhibits and workshops across Britain to boost understanding around people movement. Immigration has not been completely neglected by the country's cultural sector—19 Princelet Street, the Museum of London Docklands, the Huguenot Museum in Rochester, and the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool also examine migration—but no pre-existing museum looks at "the long story" of migration in the U.K., says Sophie Henderson, an immigration lawyer and director of the Migration Museum. "And not just the story of immigration, but emigration, because over hundreds of years it's very much been a two-way story of people coming and going.""

More here

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Call for Papers: Comparative Museologies: The Example of the Asian Arts

Musée de l’Homme, 28th September 2017

In the 19th century, major collections of Asian arts reached European museums. These collections provide useful comparisons of the reception of these cultures in different Western museums. While it is possible to recognise some key moments in the movement of objects from the East to the West (e.g. the discovery of Buddhist antiquities in the mid-century, or the expansion and establishment of colonialisms), the incorporation of these works into existing museum collections, or their interpretation according to scholarly knowledge at the time, differed depending on the range of objects available and the various national scholarly traditions.

One of the case studies of the Universal Histories and Universal Museums project draws on the South Asian collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, including those that were brought to Europe so to be displayed in temporary exhibitions. The research centres on the purposes of museums in acquiring these objects, their use in displays and in public events, and debate around their position in the collections.

This workshop aims to explore the acquisition, inventory, and display of Asian objects in Western museums. The workshop will bring together researchers from ethnography, archaeology, and museum history, to explore the acquisition, display, and reception of Asian Arts in Europe. The workshop will also reflect on object agencies through a session with the objects studied in the Universal Histories and Universal Museums project. We invite papers and posters exploring the agencies that contributed to the collection and display of Asian arts. 

Contributions might consider, but need not be confined to, the following themes:
Collecting and displaying Asian arts in Western museums in the 19th century and the early 20th century
Histories of museums of Asian arts and their collections (e.g. Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet)
Museum collections and the development of ethnography
The impact of temporary exhibitions and universal exhibitions on the creation and development of museum collections, including other object journeys into museums via learned and other societies, private collections etc

Important information:

Papers – abstract: 300 words (20 minutes papers)
Deadline for both papers and posters abstract submission: 1st August.
Send abstracts to:
Authors will be notified by the 10th August.

Note that we will aim to publish the workshops of the ‘Universal Histories, Universal Museums’ research project as a journal special issue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Position Announcement: Social Media Manager, The Field Museum

The Social Media Manager at The Field Museum develops content for and maintains day-to-day activity across all social channels. This position monitors, engages with, and grows an online community of naturally curious science enthusiasts and museum lovers. The Social Media Manager maintains an audience-first approach, conducts regular reporting, and maintains the brand and voice of a world-class cultural institution on social media channels. This position exists in the Web and Digital Communications team and reports to the Web and Digital Communications Director.

The right candidate for this position can navigate large, complex environments with diverse stakeholders, and do so with confidence, expertise, and clear communication. At their core, this person has a passion for learning, storytelling, technology, current social media trends, and science and natural history

Applications must include a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to be considered for this position. Please submit a resume and cover letter through the application portal. Submit a writing sample as a single PDF to with subject line “Social Media Manager: [Your Name]”. The writing sample should include:
Sample social media posts (1-3) that The Field Museum might create. Indicate intended social platform for each post, and include or describe any visual aspect. Be creative!
A longer writing sample (max. 500 words) from your previous work. This could be a social media campaign plan or report, a blog post, etc.

Duties and Responsibilities
Manage publishing and engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat with compelling content and diligent community management
Maintain and safeguard brand voice and message strategy across networks
Promote the Museum’s mission, collections, research, exhibitions, events, programs, and initiatives through both organic and paid social media
Collaborate with the Digital Content Developer and an array of Museum staff to gather, write, and edit content
Participate in the development of ongoing strategy for the Museum’s social channels
Actively develop relationships with colleagues inside and outside the Museum and establish processes for maintaining social media best practices
Monitor The Field Museum brand across all channels, collaborating as appropriate with Public Relations, Marketing, and the Web teams to execute and respond to events as they occur
Monitor, report, and respond to customer service issues
Set and track measurable goals
Help determine the impact of all Field Museum social media outreach; analyze and review effectiveness of organic efforts and paid campaigns to help evolve ongoing social media strategy
Implement and maintain institutional social policies and monitor social properties operated by other individuals and departments within the Museum
Manage, balance, and report on social media budget each month

Bachelor's degree required; museum, journalism, communications, or new media degree preferred
3-5 years of dedicated social media experience
Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, with an ability to translate technical concepts for a general audience
An eye for details and inconsistencies, both in writing and style
Ability to adapt written voice to fit channel and brand
Ability to analyze and report on social media performance metrics
Experience using social media scheduling, monitoring, and engagement tools, e.g., Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Crowdriff
Experience with Facebook Live
In-depth knowledge and understanding of current social media landscape, trends, tools
Self-starter with some project management skills, including schedule development, tracking, task prioritization, and an ability to meet tight deadlines
Ability to negotiate the requests and needs of different internal stakeholders while firmly advocating for our audiences
Ability to keep track of many small details without losing sight of the big picture


Experience creating storylines, shooting, and/or editing videos for social
Experience with paid social campaigns
Familiarity with The Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, and/or content style guides generally
Familiarity with photo editing software, particularly Photoshop
Familiarity with basic graphic design and tools, e.g., Canva or Illustrator

More here.