Critical Museum Studies: The Future of the Museum
Special Events in Conjunction with the seminar “The Museum in the 21st Century: Looting, Archaeology and the Fate of the Object” taught Summer Semester 2013 by Prof. Dr. Sarah E. Fraser, East Asian Art History, Mondays, 2:15 – 4pm.
22 April, 2013, 3 – 4pm, seminar room 311
"In the Name of Science: Italian and American Collectors in West Tibet in the 1930s"
Speaker: Prof. Rob Linrothe | Northwestern University and former Curator, Rubin Museum of Art, NYC
Co-sponsor: Chair of Buddhist Studies, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context.
The talk focuses on the early 20th-century collecting practices of the Italian Giuseppe Tucci and the American Walter Koelz, both of whom staged collecting expeditions in western Tibet in the early 1930s. Using published and unpublished accounts by Tucci and Koelz, the talk aims to shed light on the usually opaque trajectory between the religious shrine and the western museum. It will also examine the intermediate steps necessary to transport and transform sacralia into art and artifacts within museums, and compare the collectors' stated intentions--the production of scientific knowledge--with the results obtained as seen retrospectively from the present vantage point.
6 May, 2013, 2:15 – 4pm, seminar room 311
"Von China ins Museum. George Crofts (1871-1925), eine vergessene Figur im internationalen Kunsthandel"
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Klaas Ruitenbeek | Director, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin
George Crofts, an Englishman with Irish roots, was a “Foreman (of Colonial Goods)” in London harbour at age 20, but by 1901, he had settled in Tianjin as a wholesale dealer in furs; on the side he traded in art and antiquities on a large scale. Important objects in the British Museum, V&A Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln, can be traced to him. In November 1918, he became acquainted with the director of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Charles Currelly. From that year until 1925, Crofts sold about 4000 Chinese objects to the ROM. In 1921, he sent 21 photo albums, depicting most if not everything he had sold to that time. Each album contains 48 large (ca. 21 x 30 cm) razor blade-sharp albumen prints; together they number over 1000. These albums, together with archival materials kept at the ROM, will be the starting point for a discussion of George Crofts as a major figure in the international art trade and as a mover of art.
10 May, 2013, 10am – 4pm*
Field trip to Cologne: Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst; discussion and tour of storage with Dr. Petra Rösch, Curator
13 May, 2013, 2:15 – 4pm, seminar room 311
"Origins of the Köln Museum"
Speaker: Dr. Adele Schlombs | Director, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne
Founded in 1909, the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst was Europe’s first museum specifically dedicated to Far Eastern art. Its first director, Prof. Adolf Fischer, described his first visit to Japan in 1892 as “the axis around which my life would turn.” Author of the 2009 book marking the institution’s centennial, Aufbruch in eine neue Zeit, Die Gründung des Museums für Ostasiatische Kunst in Köln, the current director, Dr. Adele Schlombs will trace the museum’s history and how it survived two World Wars.
"Buddhism, German conceptions of 'Kunst' and 'High' Art in early 20th century"
Speaker: Dr. Petra Rösch | Curator, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne
Dr. Petra Rösch, curator of Buddhist Art and Korean Art will discuss the museum’s unusually strong holdings in Buddhist sculpture – not a category of collecting in China at the time of the museum’s founding. At the turn of the 20th century the notion of “art” in German art circles established a framework for collecting, establishing a preference for Chinese and Japanese Buddhist sculpture. These works were viewed as “artistic,” “abstract” and “spiritual” -qualities associated with “high art".
7 – 9 June, 2013*
Field trip to Berlin: Tour of Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Dahlem with Dr. Lilla Russell-Smith, Curator, Central Asian Wall Painting; explore the Humboldt Forum - future home of the Dahlem Museum on the Museum Island; visit and discuss: Neue Nationalgalerie and Pergamonmuseum
1 July, 2013, 6pm, seminar room 311
"Curating and Mechanics of Art Museums in 21st Century China"
Speaker: Dr. Wang Huangsheng | Director, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing
Prof. Wang, a renowned scholar, educator, and director, will bring his unique perspective on the management and future of China's museums from the vantage point of directing the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts––China's premier art academy. Its' collection is synonymous with modernity in the history of Chinese painting. Originating with the Academy's early years in Beiping during the Republican period, the collection contains the works of formative history of Chinese painting when the Academy moved south to Chongqing during the Sino-Japanese war. Prof. Huang will reflect on the challenges of directing museums in the 21st century from the vantage of the Art Academy Museum––one of China's creative hubs. Among his many books on landscape painting and Ming and Qing art, he has a new series on the history of the museum; the first volume, published in 2012, is entitled, Art Museum as Knowledge Production.
* Field trips limited to student participants only.