The Museum of Modern Art in New York has just released an amazing set of data pertaining to its exhibition history, beginning with the institution’s founding in 1929 and spanning up until the epochal year of 1989. The question that presents itself to us now is how to use it. What questions should we ask of this enormous trove of information, which includes not only things like installation photographs but also press releases? This Experimental Humanities Critical Potluck will consider questions of canon formation (how, for example, did Picasso come to be thought of as the modern artist par excellence?) as well as changing conceptions of the exhibition format itself. While techniques of “distant reading” have recently become important in the field of literary studies, art history is just starting to assimilate these methods. EH Fellow Collin Jennings will lead us through some of these methods, and Alex Kitnick from the Art History Program will serve as interlocutor. Both faculty and students are invited to attend.
Refreshments will be provided, and resources for the potluck will be distributed ahead of time. Explore the MoMA archive here. Please rsvp to Collin if you plan to attend.
The Experimental Humanities Critical Potluck series is designed to catalyze interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty and students around specific topics. Participants are asked only to bring their specific experiences and expertise (in the spirit of a potluck) to bear on a shared object of inquiry.