The Custard Institute for Spanish Art & Culture Inaugural Symposium

Context Matters: The Materiality of Objects in the Museum

What are the many meanings of an artwork or artifact when it is displayed in an institutional setting? Is it so important to see the “real” thing? Much has been written about the role of objects as tools for teaching, or about the museum as a kind of classroom, but what about the ontology of the object in the structured particularity of a museum context? This question has become increasingly important as the nature of what constitutes a “real” thing is constantly changing. Recent developments in technology, advances in AI, and even social movements have raised questions about how objects should be displayed and contextualized, or even what constitutes a museum.
In-person in the Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium

Free, but does not include museum admission; advance registration is required for each day’s session, see ticket links below.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 6:00–8:00 P.M.
Two keynote speakers will examine the rapidly changing landscape of virtual visual realities.
Day One Tickets

Introduction

Gregory Warden, Mark A. Roglán Director, Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture, and Emeritus Professor of Art History, SMU

The Distributed Museum: How Objects Matter
Anne Balsamo, arts and humanities distinguished university chair, University of Texas at Dallas

The Invisible Museum: Performing Objects in Between AI and Human Brains
Maurizio Forte, William and Sue Gross Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies and of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, Duke University

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 10:00 A.M.–1:00 P.M.
Local experts continue the symposium, which will culminate in an open forum to provide an opportunity for lively discussion.
Day Two Tickets

Introduction

Gregory Warden, Mark A. Roglán Director, Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture, and Emeritus Professor of Art History, SMU

The Long Road to the Transfiguration of the Museum of Art
Michael Corris, art critic and and emeritus professor of art, SMU

Virtue Ethics or Vulture Ethics? Reflections on Our Confessional Distance from Culpability in the Arts
Anthony Elia, J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and director, Bridwell Library, SMU

Response and Discussion from a Panel of Experts

Amanda W. Dotseth, Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU
Adam Jasienski, associate professor of art history, SMU, and member of the Custard Institute Advisory Board
Michelle Rich, Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Associate Curator of Indigenous American Art, Dallas Museum of Art