Faculty of ArtsAustralian Institute of Art History

Gerard and Jaynie Curatorship

Gerard Vaughan and Jaynie Anderson, before a painting of the Finding of Moses, previously attributed to Sebastiano Ricci, but now more generally accepted as a painting by Giambattista Tiepolo.
© Fairfax Photo.

Interrogating Art Curatorship in Australia

Keynote Address: 12 March 2010

Dr Michael Brand, Director of the John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2005-2010, and Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne, to be held at the Elisabeth Murdoch Theatre, the University of Melbourne, 12 March 2010, at 5.30pm:  Curating for the Common Good. 

Symposium: 13-14 March 2010

Curatorship Symposium Program

Elisabeth Murdoch - Theatre A

Jointly convened by Associate Professor Alison Inglis and Rebecca Coates

A symposium is to be held about the practice of curatorship in Australia, in celebration of twenty years of teaching the MA in art curatorship at the University of Melbourne. Speakers will include some of the most distinguished curators in Australia and alumni of the Melbourne degree.

What are the defining characteristics of art curatorship in Australia? How does the experience of living in Australia shape professional practice in our art museums?  This symposium will interrogate the central components of a curator's working life: the creation and development of collections, and the performative act of the exhibition and its interpretation.  

The conference will consist of keynote addresses and sessions of three 30-minute papers to be followed by a convenor-led discussion with questions.  Sessions include the following titles:


Student response to ‘Interrogating Art Curatorship in Australia’

Caitlin Breare
  The overflowing Elisabeth Murdoch Lecture Theatre on the evening of Michael  Brand’s keynote address Curating Art for the Common Good for the ‘Interrogating  Art Curatorship in Australia’ Symposium was testament to the level of engagement  the art community has with the imperative role of the curator; an exemplification  of the importance of this long overdue forum for the discussion of the role  and the future of the curator.  The eclectic audience of students, professionals  both young and well-established, and art lovers and supporters in general also  reflected the wide-ranging interest in the actions and development of this  vocation.

Brand’s compelling moral outlook on the pertinent role of curatorship in forging connections between art and people remained a prevalent theme among all speakers,though it became evident that there are as many approaches to doing this as there were curators.  It is clear that the curator has a seemingly endless list of considerations and challenges and often has to wear a number of hats at once.  As an art history student I tend to focus on a works’ significance in an artistic, social and historical context, and I now see that this is but one of the many issues curators are concerned with; I can now start to appreciate just how difficult doing this must be.  Differing and sometimes conflicting opinions were expressedand explored in lively panel discussions following each session; it was great to see so many objectives being strived for in this field and so many passionate and inspired professionals working towards them.  By Sunday afternoon it was clear just how deeply the actions of the curator shape our experience of art, and how interrogating art curatorship proves to be just as intriguing and worthwhile as examining art itself.



Associate Professor Alison Inglis
Email: asi@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 7448
Both events are free of charge, but please register by sending your contact details, indicating whether you will be attending the public lecture and/or the symposium, to: Dr Meaghan Wilson Anastasios – Email: mewi@unimelb.edu.au
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