Session Chair, “Go Public, Young Scholar,” College Art Association Annual Conference, February 14, 2019
Higher education, the humanities, and liberal arts are under attack in the United States, and many believe their survival will depend on scholars who can successfully reach outside “the ivory tower” and demonstrate the relevance of historical subjects to understanding contemporary issues. “Go Public, Young Scholar” will highlight opportunities, obstacles, and strategies for creating public scholarship in the history of art.
“From Charles Willson Peale to Robert Mapplethorpe: Philadelphia on the Front Lines in the Fight for Artistic Freedom,” Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, March 6, 2019
Most Americans believe they are entitled to nearly limitless freedom of artistic expression, but in fact throughout most of the history of the United States, artists have faced significant difficulties in engaging provocative subjects, and especially in finding patrons and institutions willing to support them in doing so. No city gave birth to more artists, patrons, and curators on the front lines of the fight for artistic freedom than Philadelphia. This talk reminds us of how far we have come, and also that our rights are only ever as vibrant as the will of ‘we the people’ to assert them.