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ReConsidering Iraqi Cultural Heritage: A Conversation with Dr. Abdulameer Al-Hamdani

A conversation with Dr. Abdulameer Al-Hamdani, archaeologist and former Iraq Minister of Culture about the past, present, and future of cultural heritage in Iraq and the connections between Iraqi histories and identities today. Dr. Hamdani shares with us updates on the state of cultural heritage and museums in Iraq, and insights into the role of digital approaches to protecting and preserving Iraqi history. Sean P. Burrus, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, Bowdoin College Museum of Art moderates.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Critical support is provided by the Yadgar Family Endowment, Bowdoin College.

Recorded on April 8, 2021.

On "The Presence of the Past: Art from Central and West Africa"

David Gordon, Professor of History, Bowdoin College, and Allison Martino, Raymond and Laura Wielgus Curator of the Art of Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous Art of the Americas at the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University Bloomington, discuss the exhibition "The Presence of the Past: Art from Central and West Africa," now available online.  The exhibition features important loans from The Wyvern Collection, in addition to works from the BCMA’s own holdings, and explores notions of power, gender, and cultural appropriation through the juxtaposition of historic art with objects produced during the past century.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Recorded on March 17, 2021.

Art Up Close | Episode 8
“We Never See Anything Clearly: William Henry Hunt’s 'Fungi'"

Enjoy this eighth episode in this series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students and members of the Bowdoin community with works in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s collection. In this episode, Pamela Fletcher, Professor of Art History, Bowdoin College, discusses a watercolor and gouache, "Fungi," by William Henry Hunt.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Recorded on March 10, 2021.

"Ivory, Copper, and the Island of Gold: Medieval trade between France and West Africa"

Sarah Guérin, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, discusses the development of trade networks linking medieval Europe and western Africa, exploring the important role played by Africa in the medieval world system of Europe. Her talk sheds light on the profound effects that these trade networks had on artistic production in both regions.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Recorded on March 3, 2021.

The seventh episode in our series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students and members of the Bowdoin community with works in the Museum of Art’s collection. In this episode, Frank Goodyear, co-director, discusses photography by Zig Jackson, an artist of Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara descent.

Recorded February 24, 2021
Now in its second year, “On Being Present: Recovering Blackness in the Uffizi Galleries,” was launched in February 2020 as a collaboration between Black History Month Florence and the Uffizi. This project, which has involved the efforts of multiple arts experts, highlights the histories and historical context of African figures in the museum’s paintings and sculptures. The resulting research is now featured on Uffizi’s website. Justin Randolph Thompson, Director and Co-Founder of Black History Month Florence speaks to the project’s origins, its achievements, and its future objectives.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Recorded on February 17, 2021

Art Up Close at the BCMA | Episode 6

The sixth episode in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students and members of the Bowdoin community with works in the Museum of Art’s collection.

In this episode Anne Collins Goodyear, co-director, discusses "32 Questions for DeRay McKesson," a 2016 time-based media portrait of the activist by artist R. Luke DuBois.

Presented by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Recorded on February 17, 2021.

A special presentation exploring a selection of art works that the Bowdoin College Museum of Art has added to its collection in 2020. Works from the ancient Mediterranean to present-day Maine and beyond are discussed by members of the BCMA's curatorial team: Anne Collins Goodyear, co-director; Frank Goodyear, co-director; Sean P. Burrus, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow; and Elizabeth Humphrey, Curatorial Assistant and Manager of Student Programs. Originally presented on January 28, 2021.
Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American artist whose conceptual projects, sculptures, and public art installations prompt us to think critically about issues of cultural heritage and connections between past and present in the Middle East. His 2017 stop-motion film "The Ballad of Special Ops Cody," filmed at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, meditates on the experience of war and the real human and cultural costs of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, has been on view at the BCMA as part of the exhibition Assyria to America. The artist recently joined Sean P. Burrus (Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Curatorial Fellow, Bowdoin College Museum of Art) and Sarah Graff (Associate Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art) for a conversation about the film and his practice as a contemporary artist.

This recording showcases a live event, hosted online by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on Dec. 8, 2020, featuring an introduction to the 2017 stop-motion film "The Ballad of Special Ops Cody," followed by a conversation with the artist.

This event is part of an ongoing series at the Museum of Art dedicated to the ancient and modern histories of the Assyrian reliefs from Nimrud and their reception. Recent public events have included conversations with historians, curators, and conservators and cultural heritage specialists who specialize in Assyrian history and culture.
Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American artist whose conceptual projects, sculptures, and public art installations prompt us to think critically about issues of cultural heritage and connections between past and present in the Middle East. His 2017 stop-motion film "Special Ops Cody," filmed at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, meditates on the experience of war and the real human and cultural costs of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, has been on view at the BCMA as part of the exhibition Assyria to America. The artist recently joined Sean P. Burrus (Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Curatorial Fellow, Bowdoin College Museum of Art) and Sarah Graff (Associate Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art) for a conversation about the film and his practice as a contemporary artist.

This feature showcases the full version of that conversation. Originally recorded on Dec. 4, 2020, a condensed version of this conversation was aired as part of a featured online program offered by the Museum on Dec. 9, 2020. A recording of that event, featuring the artist’s introduction to the film and an excerpt of the film, may be found online.

This event is part of an ongoing series at the Museum of Art dedicated to the ancient and modern histories of the Assyrian reliefs from Nimrud and their reception. Recent public events have included conversations with historians, curators, and conservators and cultural heritage specialists who specialize in Assyrian history and culture.

Art Up Close at the BCMA: Episode 5 | The Assyrian Reliefs and Repatriation

Lucy Siegel ’22 introduces the subject of the Assyrian reliefs and repatriation in Episode 5 of "Art Up Close at the BCMA," series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students with works in the collection of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Presented on December 9, 2020.

Art Up Close at the BCMA | Episode 4

The fourth episode in a series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students with works in the museum’s collection. Claire Traum '21 shares her independent research project on Bay Area artists in the twentieth century, focusing on Wayne Thiebaud. Recorded on November 18, 2020.

Engaging Objects: Reimagining Museum Collections with New Technologies

Diane Zorich, Director of the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office, shares her knowledge as an expert in cultural heritage and digital technology and discusses revolutionary digital tools now being used to document objects in the Smithsonian’s vast collections and strategies for preserving that data. She also speaks to the Smithsonian Institution’s recent public release of nearly 3 million digital assets—including images and 3-dimensional models— sharing its collections, stimulating innovative creative and scholarly work and increasing public enjoyment of the nation’s cultural collections through these open access resources. Just what does it mean to reimagine the museum digitally? Recorded November 9, 2020.

“New Views of the Middle Ages: The Art Exhibition, Technology, Accessibility, and New Knowledge”

Technologies developed over the last three decades have opened new opportunities for museums to reach a wider audience, and for visitors, whether in person or online, to engage with works of art in new ways. As museums around the world closed their doors in the face of a global pandemic, we have had an opportunity to re-evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies and perhaps even to envision new paths forward. This panel discussion addresses some of the ways in which museums, whether large, small, regional, academic, or encyclopedic, can develop and use technology to maintain, and perhaps even increase, public engagement. Recorded November 5, 2020.

Panelists:
Sir Paul Ruddock H’19, philanthropist and supporter of the arts
Barbara Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters
Eyob Derillo, Curator of Ethiopian collections, British Library

Art Up Close at the BCMA | Episode 3

The third in a series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students with works in the Museum’s collection. This week, Brooke Wrubel ’21 shares her independent research project on Edward Perry Warren and the antiquities collection at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Recorded on October 28, 2020.

Maine’s Lithographic Landscapes: Town and City Views, 1830-1870

This illustrated presentation by Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., Maine State Historian, celebrates the publication of "Maine’s Lithographic Landscapes: Town and City Views, 1830-1870," released by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and Brandeis University Press in September 2020. Shettleworth guest-curated the exhibition of the same name on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in 2019-2020. Recorded on October 8, 2020.

An Introduction to "New Views of the Middle Ages: Highlights from the Wyvern Collection"

This program, recorded on September 30, 2020, includes remarks from Kathryn Gerry, curator of the exhibition and visiting assistant professor of medieval art history at Bowdoin College. The exhibition showcases works from the Wyvern collection, one of the most important private collections of medieval art today, currently on loan to the BCMA. The Wyvern loan, including medieval works from Europe and east Africa, together with select objects from the BCMA’s collection, offers opportunities for 21st-century viewers to engage with the vibrant art, culture, and socio-economic circumstances of the medieval past. Gerry offers a brief introduction to some of the key themes that underly this exhibition and presents individual works from the show.

Art Up Close at the BCMA is a series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students with works in the Museum’s collection. In Episode 2: "The Wyvern Collection," Kathryn Gerry, visiting assistant professor of art history, discusses the new exhibition New Views of the Middle Ages: Highlights from the Wyvern Collection.
The first in a series of bite-sized conversations aimed at connecting students with works in the collection of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. In this episode, Elizabeth Humphrey, Curatorial Assistant and Manager of Student Programs, and Sean P. Burrus, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, talk about Titus Kaphar’s "The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XI," 2015.
In 2018 and 2019, photographer Walter Smalling traveled almost 6,000 miles by car photographing the homes, studios, and favorite places of 26 celebrated visual artists who have found creative inspiration in Maine.  The resulting photographs take center stage in the new book, At First Light: Two Centuries of Maine Artists, Their Homes and Studios, published by Rizzoli Electa and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on the occasion of Maine’s bicentennial.  Smalling describes his work on this project, and Bowdoin College Museum of Art co-directors Anne Collins Goodyear and Frank H. Goodyear moderate a discussion with the audience.
Laura Fecych Sprague and Justin Wolff, co-curators, share insights about the exhibition "Rufus Porter's Curious World: Art and Invention in America, 1815-1860." The exhibition was on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine in 2019-2020.

A Conversation on the Earliest Images of Bowdoin College

Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth Jr. H’08 speaks about the College in the nineteenth century. After Shettleworth’s remarks, he and John Cross ’76, secretary of development and college relations, join in a Q&A moderated by the Museum of Art's codirectors, Frank Goodyear and Anne Collins Goodyear.

Enjoy this conversation with Andrea Deszö, halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, “Art in a Time of Contagion,” recorded on April 8, 2020.

Jessica S. Johnson, head of conservation at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, and Corine Wegener, director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, share their important work recovering cultural heritage in Iraq and at the site of Nimrud. Learn how the Smithsonian has partnered with Iraqi colleagues for initiatives aimed at protecting and preserving the history of the region.


Critical support was provided by the Yadgar Family Endowment, Bowdoin College.

James Higginbotham, associate professor of classics and associate curator for the ancient collection and Sean P. Burrus, Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral curatorial fellow, discuss Bowdoin’s Assyrian reliefs, their long journey to the Museum, and their ancient and modern contexts in the Northwest Palace at Nimrud. Presented in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition Assyria to America at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Presented on October 24, 2019.
Three Bowdoin alumni from the world of fine arts administration— Brian Ferriso '88, Shelley Langdale '85, and Andrew Walker '87–visited campus in September 2019 to reflect on the important work to be done by the arts today.
"Africana Studies and the Visual Arts:" A Chat with David C. Driskell H'89 and Julie McGee '82.  Recorded at Bowdoin College on November 15, 2019.
Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, and Acting Director, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, spoke to developing international strategies aimed at preserving the past in the wake of widespread destruction of cultural monuments.

The talk was supported by the Yadgar Family Endowment.
"What is the Work of the Dead" by Thomas Laqueur. Laqueur is the Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in the cultural history of the body, and in the history of humanitarianism and of popular religion and literacy.

Stephen Perkinson, Bowdoin's Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Art History and guest curator, delivers the keynote address, "Lessons for Living: The Macabre in Renaissance Art" to open the Bowdoin Museum of Art exhibition :The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe."

"The Ivory Mirror" explored the rich visual culture of mortality in Renaissance Europe. Exquisite artworks — from ivory prayer beads to gem-encrusted jewelry — evoke life's preciousness and the tension between pleasure and responsibility, then and now.

"Exhibiting Ivory Today: Historic Artifacts in a Contemporary Context"

A panel of experts in art history, law, and Arctic studies, spoke recently about historic significance of ivory as an artistic medium and the implication of new regulations on the transport of ivory nationally and internationally as part of efforts to protect elephants and other endangered species.

The speakers are Stephen J. Knerly Jr., Esq., of Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP; Genevieve LeMoine, curator, Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum; and Stephen Perkinson, Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Art History. They offer many perspectives on this issue.

"Why Draw?" Artist Natalie Frank on Drawings and Their Subtexts

Natalie Frank's widely exhibited and critically acclaimed illustrations of the "unsanitized" fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm ponder their implications for women, their bodies, desires, and fears. Illustrations of the tale "The Maiden Without Hands" were on view in the exhibition "Why Draw? 500 Years of Watercolors and Drawings at Bowdoin College."

Elliot Bostwick Davis: "Reimagining 'American' Art: The MFA Boston and Museums of the Future"

In 2010 the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, opened its new wing dedicated to the Arts of the Americas, a transformation led by Elliot Bostwick Davis, John Moors Cabot Chair, Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In her lecture, she reflects on the MFA's evolution and what it means to tell the story of American art in an encyclopedic museum.

Symposium: “Perspectives from Postwar Hiroshima: Chuzo Tamotzu, Children’s Drawings, and the Art of Resolution”

In conjunction with the exhibition "Perspectives from Postwar Hiroshima: Chuzo Tamotzu, Children's Drawings, and the Art of Resolution," at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art,  leading artists, historians, and art historians offer their perspectives on the cultural implications of World War II - particularly the atomic explosion in Hiroshima - for Japan and for Americans of Japanese descent in the United States.

Speakers include Yukiyo Kawano, artist, Portland, Oregon; Roger Shimomura, University Distinguished Professor of Art Emeritus, The University of Kansas; Mark Selden, professor emeritus of sociology and history, State University of New York at Binghamton; John K.W. Tchen, founding director, Asia/Pacific/American Institute; Aiko Izumisawa, independent scholar, Kagoshima, Japan; Michael Amano, Bowdoin Class of 2017; and Virginia Crow, Class of 2018.

"Japanese Prints Renewed: The Agents and Tangents of Sosaku Hanga"

Kendall Brown, professor of Asian art history at California State University-Long Beach, explores the post-war flourishing of the Sosaku Hanga or "creative print" movement in Japan through its American patrons and scholars and its emphasis on the materiality of woodblock prints.

Presented in conjunction with the installation of Sosaku Hanga at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Michael Kolster: “Take Me to the River: Photographs of Atlantic Rivers”

Panel discussion of the book, Take Me to the River, a collection of photographs by Michael Kolster. Moderated by Frank Goodyear, the panel discusses the history and current state of the rivers depicted in the book: the Androscoggin (ME/NH), the Schuylkill (PA), the James (VA) and the Savannah (SC/GA). It also addresses the ways that photography might contribute to the larger conversation about the future of these waterways and the landscape in general.

Panelists include editor and publisher George Thompson of Staunton, Virginia; book designer David Skolkin, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Alison Nordstrom, contributor of an essay to the book, former senior curator of photographs at Eastman House Museum of Photography, and independent writer and curator living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Matthew Klingle, contributor of another essay to the book, Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College; and Michael Kolster, photographer and Associate Professor of Art at Bowdoin College.

"Iconoclasm and the Power of Images"

Contemporary vandalism of works of art by religious fanatics is only the latest episode in a millennia-long struggle to define and control the power of images that has erupted across cultural and religious boundaries. This evening offers the opportunity to explore iconoclasm in history, learn about its motivations, and reflect on the destructive and creative powers it unleashes.

Participating faculty members are Assistant Professor of Government Barbara Elias Klenner, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures Meryem Belkaid, Associate Professor of Classics James Higginbotham, Professor of Religion Robert Morrison, and the Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Art History Stephen Perkinson. Museum Curator Joachim Homann moderated the event.

Joachim Homann, introducing the speaker

"Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculptures of the Hellenistic World"

From the fourth century BCE to the first century CE, artists of the Mediterranean world created richly detailed bronze sculptures of unparalleled realism and expression. Only a few of these ancient masterpieces survive. Jens Daehner, associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum who recently curated a celebrated exhibition of Hellenistic bronzes for the Getty Museum, discusses the importance of bronze in antiquity and artistic innovations of the Hellenistic period.

"The New Normal"

The artist Hasan Elahi,  Guggenheim Fellow whose work is included in "This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Art and Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today at the Museum of Art," discusses his practice and the larger question of visual documentation and the representation of identity in the post-9/11 era.

Elahi is a Bangladeshi-born American interdisciplinary media artist with a focus on technology and media and their social implications.

"Some Additional Observations on Identity in American Art"

Richard Saunders ’70 discusses the emergence of portrait abstraction in the context of the broader history of American portraiture.

Saunders is a Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor and director at Middlebury College Museum of Art. He is also an art historian and author of the recently published American Faces: A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity (2016). He received his BA from Bowdoin, his MA in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware, and MA, M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale.

"Queer Strategies, Queer Tactics"

 

Artist L.J. Roberts, whose work Portrait of Deb was included in This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today, speaks about the expression of LGBT identity through the visual arts.

"Robert Frank: Nobody's Home"
"'Passing Into the World as Abstractions': Georgia O'Keefe's Painted Portraits"
"Travels with Hattie & Eleanor: Researching Biography with Barbara Cooney"
"Collecting Time" by Jon Ippolito and Richard Rinehart
R. Luke Dubois: On Art and Performance by Matthew McLendon
R. Luke DuBois: "An Artist's View"
African Art and 'Earth Matters'
Eleanor Harvey: "Darkness Visible"
Conversation with Painter Lois Dodd: "Painting the Night"
James Bowdoin III, Art Collector Pioneer
Elise Ansel and Hanetha Vete-Congolo Discussion: Distant Mirrors - Reflections on Painting