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Binghamton University Art Museum to open student-curated exhibit of African art


BINGHAMTON, NY – The Binghamton University Art Museum will open a student-curated exhibition of African art from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Nancy J. Powell Lower Galleries, in room 179 of the Fine Arts Building, on campus. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibition, "Living Objects: Makers, Markets, Museum," is the result of a collaboration by 36 members of Museums and the Art of Exhibitions, an anthropology/art history course taught by Associate Professor of Anthropology and Art History Pamela Smart. Seventeen pieces of 20th century art from West Africa, on loan from the private collection of Michael Horowitz, retired Binghamton University Professor of Anthropology, and his wife, Sylvia Horowitz, will be on display. The exhibition will run through Saturday, March 14.

As part of a semester-long class project, students were divided into different advocacy groups — each responsible for a separate aspect of the overall exhibition. Some students researched the objects to learn about where they were from and how they would have been brought to life in their original contexts; others interviewed Sylvia Horowitz to learn more about the circumstances of their collection and studied literature on collecting to learn about personal and museum collections more generally. Others conducted research into the role of university art museums, to help us to think about what we should try to achieve in creating an exhibition for this context. One group of students researched exhibition design, while another group worked to create an audience for the exhibition, designing advertising, reaching out to constituencies both on campus and off who might be encouraged to attend, along with developing a way of evaluating the experiences of visitors to the exhibition.

"Living Objects: Makers, Markets, Museum" draws attention to the cultures from which the objects originated, their period of life as market commodities, and their current circumstance, as elements of a private collection, exhibited in an art museum and subject to art historical analysis or perhaps provoking aesthetic pleasure.

For more information, contact the University Art Museum at 607-777-2968.

Last Updated: 9/17/13