April 9, 2019
Decolonizing practice in museum settings impacts all aspects of museum function, including collections, education and interpretation, community engagement, and leadership. Shirley Thomas, director of School Youth and Family Programs and Tricia Laughlin Bloom, curator of American Art both from the Newark Museum held a lively, moderated conversation with Greg Stevens exploring the many ways the decolonization movement has motivated a number of the changes being made to collecting, presenting, interpreting, and programming the American collection at the Newark Museum, including Seeing America, the thematic title for the newly-reopened American art galleries, and the recent opening of Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth. Seeing America encourages visitors to see American art from a broader perspective, incorporating the arts of Indigenous Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants from around the world, and many others. Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth is a mid-career survey of the work of this Portland artist which draws on pop culture, conceptual art strategies, and the Crow traditions within which she was raised. The exhibition provides Wendy Red Star’s unique perspective on American history, an exploration of the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, and highlights how boundaries between cultural, racial, social, and gender lines are reinforced in America and how these lines blur across time and place. This lecture/event was made possible by a generous grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation through its Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Lectureships in Art History Fund. Watch an archived video of the program here.