Lunder Institute @ the Addison Gallery—Defining American Art: Then and Now

Sunday, April 7, 2024,

Kemper Auditorium, Addison Gallery of American Art Phillips Academy 3 Chapel Avenue Andover, Massachusetts

The Addison’s founding history provides a snapshot into the state—and stakes—of American art in the 1920s and 30s. Defining American Art: Then and Now is a two-part symposium that takes the Addison’s own formation as a case study to track evolving notions of American art over the last century, with special attention to questions of citizenship and national identity as they inform the field today.

The first panel takes up questions prompted by the Addison’s founding collection (a selection of which will be on view in an accompanying exhibition) and terms of trust. In particular, the panel will reflect on the specification that only works of art “produced by a native-born or naturalized citizen of the United States” can be acquired for the collection: What was the context of and intention behind this definition of American art? How was citizenship defined in this moment, and who was excluded? What exceptions were or have been made to this provision, and why? What is the relationship between nationality, national identity, and American art? 

Panelists: Hardeep Dhillon, assistant professor of history, University of Pennsylvania; Andrew McClellan, professor, history of art and architecture, Tufts University; Gordon Wilkins, Robert M. Walker curator of American art, Addison Gallery of American Art.

The second panel explores issues around the definition of American art in our present moment. How have definitions of American art changed over the past century, and what factors have impacted that notion over time? Data collected from a survey of American art museum collection practices will reveal trends in how institutions delimit the category of “American art,” and panelists will probe the challenges, considerations, and complexities of defining—and exhibiting—American art today.

Panelists: Miguel Luciano, artist; Tess Lukey, associate curator of Native American art, the Trustees of the Reservations; Stephanie Sparling Williams, Andrew W. Mellon curator of American art, Brooklyn Museum; Rachel Vogel, assistant curator, Addison Gallery of American Art. 

This event is free and open to all, reserve your spot online.

This program is part of the Lunder Institute @ initiative and is co-presented by the Lunder Institute for American Art, a part of the Colby College Museum of Art. Lunder Institute @ invites institutions to be in conversation with one another and challenges them to look critically at American art, its history, its future and its evolution.

IMAGE: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Drive-Thru, 2002

Public event
Add event to: Google Calendar