Museum roles in challenging times is the focus of four talks

Front facade of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the UO

This spring, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon will host a special series of lectures by museum directors titled “Museum Roles in Challenging Times.”

“The role of both academic and public museums changes in response to the needs of society,” says museum Executive Director Jill Hartz. “We’ve invited four museum directors to reflect on that role in terms of their own institutions and the field at large.”

The David and Anne McCosh Memorial Visiting Lecturer Series on Northwest Art begins the series on Wednesday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m. “Thoughts on a Museum of Wonder” is the subject for Linda Tesner, Director of the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art.

Tesner brings a wealth of experience to the topic and will share her thoughts on what elements she believes create delight in a visual art experience.  She will propose an alternative to traditional art museums through illustrated comments created from the breadth of private collections in our state.

“Linda Tesner is the third McCosh visiting lecturer in our annual series that brings Pacific Northwest Art curators, scholars and artists to the JSMA,” Danielle Knapp said. “This talk will explore the roles and responsibilities of public institutions and private collections and in shaping the public perception of art and collecting here in Oregon.”

On Wednesday, May 30, at 5:30 p.m., “On Display: Curating 75 Years of Japanese-American Incarceration” is the subject chosen by Craig Hadley, director and curator of exhibitions and university collection, Richard E. Peeler Art Center, at DePauw University. Hadley will discuss how the critical lens of the museum exhibition can interpret the Japanese-American internment experience.

“Sticky and Elastic: Museums in Times of Change” takes place Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m. Kristina Durocher, director of the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire, will look at the way museums can and should adapt to meet the demographics and needs of the communities they serve.

The series concludes Wednesday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m. with Kristian Anderson, executive director of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. “Tackling Contemporary Issues” draws on Anderson’s experience navigating exhibitions with difficult contemporary art in a notably conservative community to demonstrate how the museum has pushed dialog both locally and nationally.

More detailed information on the speaking events is available on the museum’s website.