This fall, three USF museum studies students and faculty alighted eastward. They participated in a series of events that allowed them to share their expertise and gain more perspectives on our field. In September and October, graphic designer and current student Elinoar Almagor was part of two National Design Award events. At the first, held in Washington DC, she and her husband, Gadi Amit, winner of a 2013 Cooper Hewitt award for product design, lunched with Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough and First Lady Michelle Obama.
A month later, also in Washington, Professor Paula Birnbaum addressed scholars, museum professionals and graduate students at the annual Feminist Art History Conference at American University. She shared her research on the sculptor Chana Orloff (1888-1968), one of the best-known artists of the School of Paris and a pioneering woman in the early Israeli art world. Orloff played a major role in setting forth the heroic national identity of the new Israeli state by creating monuments to fallen soldiers, portraits of important figures and helping to found the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Paula will also speak about Orloff’s powerful representations of motherhood as part of the Feminist Art Project’s session on “The M Word: the Representation of the Maternal in Art and Visual Culture” at the College Art Association Annual Meeting in Chicago on February 15, 2014.
Marjorie Schwarzer delivered the 27th Annual Julia Babson Lecture at Montclair Art Museum (MAM) in New Jersey on October 10, 2013. The nation’s first art museum to focus on American and Native American artists, MAM is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In a lively lecture, Marjorie described MAM’s beginnings as a late 19th century artists’ colony that became a leafy suburb known for its progressive ideals. Marjorie called on MAM to consider how its unique history can counterpoint today’s suburbs and their indistinct and soulless chains of franchises. In December, working with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Marjorie goes to the United Arab Emirates to conduct an a week-long workshop in the role of museums in society. USF management professor Mouwafac M Sidaoui will join her for the final day of the workshop when Emirati students will present exhibitions on the subject of Emirati identity within a global society.