History of Art and Architecture

HAA Distinguished Alumna Lecture by Dr. Janet Marstine

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

Room 202, Frick Fine Arts Building

“Artists’ Interventions and the Project of Reconciliation between Museums and Publics”

Dr. Janet Marstine - HAA Alumna / Academic Director, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester


This talk will show how artists’ interventions in museums contribute to a developing discourse of museum ethics and create conditions for organizational change towards public agency and shared authority. Borrowing from literature on reconciliation theory as a human rights strategy, the talk will establish that reconciliation is a useful construct to explore how artists’ interventions play a unique role in recognizing the cultural rights of individuals through initiatives that generate effective social participation. It discusses artists’ interventions as gesture but within a larger framework of peace and reconciliation studies that acknowledges gesture as a significant symbolic act performed to make amends and to repair rifts. Further, it holds that the gestures of reconciliation constructed through artists’ interventions convey ‘institutional desire,’ defined by curator Dieter Roelstraete as an ethical caring for museums and galleries that not only expects these organizations to become more equitable but also helps to advance this cause.

Reception to follow in the Frick Fine Arts Cloister.









Book cover - Critical Practice: Artists, Museums, Ethics