CAS Annual Conference: Re-Writing the Canon?

Join us for the CAS Annual Conference, bringing together scholars, curators and museum professionals to consider significant recent initiatives in collecting, exhibitions and display, and the issues they raise.

In recent decades, notions of a fixed “canon”, or a single narrative in modern and contemporary art has come under question from all sides. Museums and galleries have been at the centre of the debate, playing an active part in revising art history. Modern art as a story of national histories and defined stylistic movements has come under scrutiny, with international museums adopting global, post‐colonial and supra‐national perspectives ranging far beyond the traditional Western‐centric model. Boundaries and hierarchies of value between different art forms have been dismantled. Issues of identity and representation have come to the fore, and renewed attention is being paid to museums’ responsibilities to their local communities.

How can museums keep pace and respond to these new imperatives? What happens when ‘the grand narratives’ are no longer considered fit for purpose? How are collections, exhibitions and displays to be rethought – according to what criteria, and for whom?

Organised by Vassilios Doupas (Contemporary Art Society) and Martin Caiger-Smith (The Courtauld Institute of Art)


  • Christopher Bedford – Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, USA
  • Dr Sook-Kyung Lee – Senior Curator, International Art at Tate Modern
  • EJ Scott – Curator of the Museum of Transology, currently hosted by the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
  • Denise Murrell – Co-curator of Black models: from Géricault to Matisse at Musée d’Orsay, Paris
  • Hilke Wagner – Director, Albertinum, Dresden
  • Helena Reckitt – Reader in Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London

Travel Bursaries are available for Museum Members, please apply by 1 May 2019. To apply and download the Contemporary Art Society Travel Bursary Form (.docx) click here  and return  the form to


This event is organised by the Contemporary Art Society in partnership with The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum.

11:30am, 14 May 2019

Tuesday 14th May 2019

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London