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The Work of Objects: Interpretation within and beyond Museum Walls—Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures (Part 4)

April 21, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


his session includes brief talks, followed by a roundtable discussion, by academics and museum professionals who focus on Dutch and American art and history. Speakers will discuss specific objects—ranging from the 17th to the 21st century—that have posed interpretive and museological challenges. They will also present new possibilities for considering the relationship between slavery’s past and present-day racial injustice.

This is the fourth and final session of Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures, presented by the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, and Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture. This four-part program explores efforts by art museums to deploy their spaces and their collections—which are often enmeshed with colonialism and exploitation—to present more complete narratives of and perspectives on slavery and its legacies.

Rachel Burke, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University

Justin Brown (panelist and moderator), Ph.D. candidate, Department of the History of Art, Yale University

Ana Lucia Araujo, Full Professor and Associate Chair, Department of History, Howard University

Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums

Nancy Jouwe, Chairwoman, BAK (basis voor actuele kunst) Supervisory Board, Utrecht; co-founder, Framer Framed; and co-founder, Mapping Slavery

Imara Limon, Curator, Amsterdam Museum

Adam Tessier, Barbara and Theodore Alfond Director of Interpretation, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Lea van der Vinde, Curator, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis

This program will take place online via Zoom. Free admission, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

For instructions on how to join a meeting in Zoom, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact am_register@harvard.edu.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at am_register@harvard.edu at least 48 hours in advance.

Please also join us for the other sessions in this series (all times Eastern):
Part 1, Friday, April 9, 1pm
Part 2, Friday, April 16, 1pm
Part 3, Friday, April 23, 11am

Separate registration is required for each portion of the program.

Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures is organized by Sarah Mallory, Kéla Jackson, and Rachel Burke, all doctoral students in Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, and Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation Curatorial Fellow in the Division of European and American Art, at the Harvard Art Museums.

Student research informing this conference was supported by a student grant from the presidential initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, a university-wide effort housed at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.