History of Art and Architecture

Race-ing the museum

Race-ing the Museum. Monday May 9 - Friday May 13, 2016

Co-leaders: Kirk Savage and Shirin Fozi

Famous European museums are altering the titles of art works to eliminate demeaning terms; Confederate monuments are being dismantled in public space and sent to history museums for storage; museums across the U.S. are scrambling to shed their image as bastions of privilege and to diversify their audiences and supporters.

How have museums, as collections and as institutions, created, supported, or challenged constructions of race and racial identity? How are museums and their objects implicated in the history of slavery, indigenous peoples, and race relations? How have museums represented and interpreted these issues? How can and should their collections tell different stories? What can museums  and allied institutions in academia and the public sector  do to combat white privilege, and to become more inclusive in their institutional structures and their audiences?

This week-long workshop engaged intersection of race, collections and museums. Graduate students and faculty from departments across the university worked with curators and archivists from the Carnegie Museum of Art, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Heinz History Center, the Allegheny City Historic Gallery, University Library System and the Art Lending Collection at the Braddock Carnegie Library.

Learn more about the outcomes here