A Utopia for the 21st Century: Towards the freer circulation of cultural artefacts
The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London
Wednesday 24 May 2017
PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN
- Michael Conforti
- Neil MacGregor
Economic, political and social shifts in recent decades have limited the expansion of the collections of art museums in many areas, but there are still an extraordinary number of works in storage in museums and at archeological sites around the world. While nationalism, ethnic separatism and global skepticism are on the rise, this lecture will consider whether we can still dream a utopian dream for the 21st century, one in which “stewardship” balances “ownership” in a collective effort to share cultural patrimony. Should museums and arts organizations keep such a utopian vision alive?
Michael Conforti will offer his perspectives on the subject in a short lecture. Neil MacGregor will then respond from his experience and long-standing commitment to the freer exchange of cultural artifacts both as a museum director and consultant to museums internationally.
Michael Conforti is Director Emeritus of the Clark Art Institute, a museum and research center in Williamstown, Massachusetts, which he led from 1994-2015. A former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors (2008-10), he holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and subsequently served as a curator of sculpture and decorative arts and chief curator in San Francisco and Minneapolis respectively. He currently addresses these subjects along with issues of museum history and practice teaching in the graduate program in art history at Williams College. A Fellow, Resident and former trustee of the American Academy in Rome, CIHA (Comité international d’histoire de l’art) and ICOM-US, he currently serves on a number of museum and artist foundation boards in the United States and Canada and is member of the International Advisory Council for the Hermitage and the Zentral Kustodie of the University of Göttingen.