Visual Art

Houston Hosts Hundreds of Art Museum Curators In National Conference

Once a year, the country’s leading art museum curators convene to discuss issues within the industry. This year, Houston was chosen.


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MFAH Watkin Building
MFAH Watkin Building

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston may be closed Mondays, but on this day, the lobby sounds like a busy weekend.

It's not filled with school children on tours, but instead hundreds of smartly-dressed art museum curators from around the country. It's part of the 15th-annual Association of Art Museum Curators conference. This is Houston's first time to host it.

"The primary function of the conference is networking," says MFAH Director Gary Tinterow.

He says this is a chance for curators — who rarely get to see each other in person — to exchange ideas.

"New projects are born at these conferences: Exhibitions, publications, symposia and seminars are derived from conversations and encounters," he says.

Helen Evans is the presidentof AAMC and Metropolitan Museum of Art's Mary & Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art.

She says the dominant topic this year is diversity.

"How to build a diverse curatorial body,” Evans explains. “How to get internships that would bring people in, who wouldn't necessarily and historically think they could be curators."

The conference includes touring a number of art institutions around town, ranging from the Asia Society Texas Center to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. It wraps up Tuesday.

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