Sandra Zalman, University of Houston and Suzanne Hudson, University of Southern California | Newberry

Sandra Zalman, University of Houston and Suzanne Hudson, University of Southern California

Friday, March 10, 2017

2 to 5pm

Center for American History and Culture Programs
American Art and Visual Culture Seminar

The Modern Remodeled: MoMA and the Modern Brand

Sandra Zalman, University of Houston

Between 1959 and 1964, three Manhattan art museums -The Guggenheim, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art - deployed innovative architecture in order to (re)shape the public’s understanding of modern art. This paper explores changing ideas of the modern by especially considering the importance of MoMA’s Philip Johnson-designed remodel of 1964. By allowing MoMA to dedicate significant space to the exhibition of its permanent collection for the first time in its 35-year history, the expansion facilitated a more concrete expression of modern art than had ever been possible before, in the midst of the expanded field of contemporary artistic production.

Better for the Making

Suzanne Hudson, University of Southern California

This paper focuses on educational practices at the Museum of Modern Art in the 1940s. In concert with occupational therapists, the Museum developed rehabilitative programs for veterans; these programs were put to work for civilians in peacetime, changed only in name, and would remain operational for decades. Part of a larger project in which I suggest a genealogy of process in American visual modernism, I ask what it means to reconsider the social importance of art through its making-here in the context of the modernist museum at the moment of its supposed estrangement from such concerns.

Cost and Registration Information 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at scholl@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.