This series is made possible through generous gifts by Louis and Lois Fingerman. The artists and scholars who have spoken at the Art Center have enriched the understanding of the works of art collected here, as well as provided the opportunity for the community to become familiar with ideas and topics embodied in the art of our time. We invite the community to join us for these presentations and hope the resulting conversations promote curiosity, further critical and empathetic thinking, and inspire dialogue outside the museum.
March 7, 2019 7:00PM
2019 Fingerman Lecture Series: Primer Lecture with Alison Ferris
Alison Ferris, Director of Curatorial Affairs / Senior Curator
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Fingerman Lecture, and the public announcement of our positioning statement, the Des Moines Art Center presents a series of four lectures by leading museum directors about the role of museums in addressing the complexity of today’s cultural, political, and social concerns.
Setting the stage for this series is a primer lecture by Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator Alison Ferris on the state of the field. In this presentation, Ferris will discuss Scaffold, a sculpture by Sam Durant at the Walker Art Center (2017); Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket in the 2017 Whitney Biennial; the Hollywood film Black Panther; and Decolonize This Place—as arts-activist collective devoted to the decolonial overhaul of New York City museums.
Ferris’ lecture poses complicated questions that both artists and the museum field are grappling with: What are art museums’ responsibilities in this fraught moment in history? Who gets to decide which histories to address in art? Who should tell stories and how should they be told? Are there limits and responsibilities that go along with artistic freedom and curatorial judgement?
Following the lecture, guests are invited to attend a reception and community convening in the lobby where we will have an opportunity to continue processing these questions. Guests are encouraged to grab a drink and join a conversation.