Harvard Curatorial Innovations Series Showcases Experts from MoMA and the Exploratorium in April 27 Lecture

April 20, 2015

(Cambridge, MA) Museums can be important spaces for exploring social, political, and historic experiences through art and science. Experts from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Exploratorium in San Francisco will discuss examples at Harvard’s second annual Seminar on Innovative Curatorial Practice Monday, April 27.

The event will be held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Harvard University’s Northwest Building, B-103, 52 Oxford Street.

Leah Dickerman, the Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will discuss MoMA’s acclaimed new exhibition One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works (April 3–September 7, 2015). Tom Rockwell, director of the Exhibits and Media Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, will talk about his institution’s interactive exhibition The Science of Sharing: Investigating Competition, Cooperation, and Social Interaction. A moderated conversation led by Harvard University professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich will follow.

The program is co-sponsored by the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture and the Harvard Art Museums as part of the Harvard Museums’ Seminar on Innovative Curatorial Practice, a joint venture designed to give curating and exhibiting a central place in the cultural-intellectual landscape at Harvard. The series features internationally renowned curators who are doing groundbreaking work in the organization of exhibits and brings them to Harvard to provoke conversation and discussion about contemporary topics in the field. 

About the presenters:

Leah Dickerman served as Associate Curator and then Acting Head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2007). Over the course of her career, she has organized or co-organized a series of exhibitions including Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 (2012-2013), Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art (2011-2012), Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity (2009-2010), Dada (2005-2006), and Aleksandr Rodchenko (1998). Dickerman serves on the editorial board of the journal October and has written extensively on European art between the two World Wars. She was Assistant Professor of Art History at Stanford University from 1997–2000, and has also taught at Princeton, Columbia and the University of Delaware. She was the David E. Finley fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art. She received her undergraduate degree in History and Literature from Harvard.

Tom Rockwell leads the group responsible for exhibit development and production at the Exploratorium and with global partners, as well as the web, editorial, and design departments. He was responsible for overseeing the planning, design and construction of the exhibit galleries for the museum’s 2013 move to Pier 15/17 on San Francisco's Embarcadero. During his ten years at the Exploratorium, Tom was also principal investigator for the Geometry Playground exhibition, and for the Science in the Stacks collaboration with the Queens Borough Public Library. Prior to coming to San Francisco Tom founded and ran Painted Universe, Inc., in Ithaca NY, where projects included traveling exhibitions such as It’s a Nano World (with the Ithaca Science Center and Cornell University), The Enchanted Museum: Exploring the Science of Art (with the Berkshire Museum), and illustrations for The Elegant Universe by Brian Green. Before that, training in the visual arts at Brown University and a lifelong interest in combining art and science led Tom to work first as an educator in science museums (Franklin Institute and Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia), and then as a designer and construction coordinator of community-built science parks and playgrounds (Leathers and Associates, based in Ithaca, NY).

Program moderator Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is known for her books on early New England and for her fascination with the way New England history came to dominate national culture. Following completion of her graduate work at the University of New Hampshire, she earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for A Midwife’s Tale (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1995, and came to Harvard. Ulrich is the developer of the popular Harvard General Education course, “Tangible Things,” and is the co-author of Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (Oxford University Press, 2015).

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Media Contact:

Blue Magruder, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

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