Kathleen Curran will be coming to speak at The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation Seminar in New York and American Material Culture on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Her talk is entitled “Atmosphere and Art: Kulturgeschichte, Period Display, and the Invention of the American Museum, 1870-1930.”

Kathleen Curran is Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She received her BA in Art History from Newcomb College, Tulane University, her MA in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and her PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware. Curran’s recent publications include “Displaying Cultural History: The Smithsonian Institution and the World’s Fairs,” in Laura Hollengreen, Celia Pearce, Rebecca Rouse, and Bobby Schweizer, eds., Meet Me at the Fair: A World’s Fair Reader (ETC Press/Carnegie Mellon, 2014) and “Munich’s Architecture and the Modern American Institution,” in Christian Fuhrmeister, Hubertus Kohle, and Veerle Thielemans, eds., American Artists in Munich: Artistic Migration and Cultural Exchange Processes (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2009). Her book The Romanesque Revival: Religion, Politics, and Transnational Exchange (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003) won the Henry-Russell Hitchcock National Book Award from The Victorian Society in America in 2005.

Translated from the German as “cultural history,” Kulturgeschichte describes an important art historical method, which emerged in German-speaking Europe in the mid-nineteenth century and which sought to contextualize art history within its political, religious, and social settings. While certainly related to this, Kulturgeschichte here refers to a particular museum type and particular display strategies emerging in the late nineteenth century in Germany, Switzerland, and to some degree Scandinavia. Together, Curran will argue, they profoundly influenced the planning and organization, installation tactics, collecting strategies, indeed—the ethos of the modern American art museum. The discussion will focus on museums in Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and New York.

This lecture series was endowed through the generosity of The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.