Art Scoping

Art Scoping

Art Scoping is a podcast featuring protagonists in the fields of art, architecture, design, publishing, art law, public policy, and culture generally. We’ll skip the elevator speeches and find out how arts leaders are coping with change, what keeps them up at night, and what gets them out of bed.... Show More

Episodes

September 26, 2020 33 min

What can we predict about post-pandemic urban planning? For answers we turn to Aaron Betsky, director of Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design, and a widely published critic on art, architecture and design. We touch on the required adaptation of office buildings, prescient predictions he made two decades ago, the need to focus on ‘upcycling’, or repurposing building stock, expanded use of post offices, the need to...

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September 19, 2020 30 min

This episode has us bouncing from Harvard to Washington to the Netherlands to Mali, led there by Dr. Cynthia Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. She began her career with a PhD from Harvard in Dutch art, serving as Assistant Curator of European Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, then a professor of art history at Georgetown University for two decades, during which she...

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September 12, 2020 33 min

Art history has of late been more art and less history. University enrollment in pre-contemporary art is dwindling, and cost-intensive mega-exhibitions of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are stilled as the pandemic roars on. For perspective we turn to one of the world’s leading experts in 19th century painting, Dr. George T.M. Shackelford, Deputy Director of Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum. He shares anecdotes about our shared...

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September 5, 2020 27 min

For truth-telling in the world of finance, we turn to Lola C. West, co-founder and partner of WestFuller Advisors, a boutique investment advisory firm in New York City that builds legacies of wealth for individuals, families and institutions. A trustee of Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership and Foundation, she shares insights on the intersections among social change, culture, and finance, and the alleviation of poverty in the De...

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August 29, 2020 32 min

We’re lucky to have a chance to hear from Arnold Lehman, senior adviser to the chairman of Phillips auction house, and director emeritus of the Brooklyn Museum. We dive straight into some very timely topics, including the slow pace of change in art museums grappling with their responsibilities in furthering racial and social justice, how media coverage influences the field, if and how New York will bounce back after the pandemic re...

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August 22, 2020 31 min

We take a step outside into the world of horticulture, and then back into art museums, safely masked, for a conversation with Dr. Carrie Rebora Barratt, CEO and William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden, and previously deputy director for collections and administration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We cover a lot of ground, from how cultural institutions began in New York City starting in 1870, to the so...

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August 16, 2020 28 min

Art museum directors are challenged as never before, confronting the pandemic, demands for social and racial justice, low morale among staff who have survived layoffs, and evaporated earned revenue. The woman of the hour to sort it all out is Dr. Elizabeth Easton, former chair of the Department of European Painting and Sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum, the first elected president of the Association of Art Museum Curators, and Co-Fo...

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August 9, 2020 27 min

It’s safe to assume that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is unaware that America’s oldest treaty is with Morocco, the first nation to recognize the fledging United States in December 1777. The breadth of American ignorance about Islamic history, art, and culture is unfathomable, but fortunately we have Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir joining this episode, sharing details of her journey from Tunisia to a PhD from London Univer...

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August 2, 2020 33 min

Many of America’s art museums have been the target of blunt criticism for over a year, first for accepting funds derived from pharmaceutical manufacturers, fossil fuel companies, and arms merchants, and more recently for employment practices disadvantageous to people of color. While there is no single remedy for alleged shortcomings in governance and management, one option is available for these institutions to align their practice...

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July 26, 2020 42 min

What can museums do to earn trust in their stated commitment to racial justice? For answers we turn to Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Deputy Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. And hear about her childhood home in Atlanta, a hub for civil rights advocates from Julian Bond to Stokely Carmichael. A life spent leading cultural institutions devoted to African American creativity and history. Along the wa...

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July 19, 2020 27 min

America is unique in harboring a sizable population of the scientifically disinclined—or more bluntly, climate change deniers and anti-vaxxers. Riding to the rescue on a motorcycle is our guest Dr. Julian Siggers. the Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology since 2012, and the newly appointed president and CEO of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. We delve into how, after r...

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July 12, 2020 31 min

Graphic identities abound in our media-saturated world—and in this episode we turn to a globally-renowned expert and practitioner to help us understand how he goes about inventing the typefaces, logos, and brand identities of leading art museums including the Guggenheim and the Whitney, the Barnes Foundation, and countless other cultural and commercial clients over many years. Abbott Miller has been a partner at Pentagram since 199...

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July 5, 2020 29 min

Designing museums and concert halls demands a blend of experience, talent, and vision. Richard Olcott, Design Partner at Ennead Architects in New York City, brings the right blend and a sense of play to a serious profession. In this episode we learn about whether, in the face of the pandemic, clients are still lining up (they are), museums will return to business as usual (they won’t), and how the Spanish Flu of 1918 was central to...

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June 28, 2020 27 min

What do James Brown’s album Sex Machine and the Renaissance sculptor Donatello have to do with protecting the art of our time? Find out in this wide-ranging conversation with Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, the Melva Bucksbaum Associate Director for Conservation and Research at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and for over a decade the Founding Director of the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art at the Harvard Art Museums. For ni...

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June 21, 2020 24 min

An archaeologist who today digs on the northern coast of Turkey at the site of Sinop, Prof. Alexander Bauer of Queens College-CUNY reflects on ancient examples of sculptural desecration, and paints a vivid picture of the daily life of a scholar in a sun-drenched archaeological site revealing 4,000 year-old finds with trowel and brush in hand. We hear about the mechanics of archaeology as so-called controlled destruction, leading-ed...

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June 14, 2020 26 min

Across the former Confederate states and around Europe, statues are being pulled down by cranes and crowds, as protests about symbols of racism and hate blanket the globe in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. For some context we turn to Dr. Victoria S. Reed, Sadler Curator for Provenance at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is one of a handful of full-time curators in the U.S. tasked with researching the ownership history of obj...

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We turn to an artist for insight in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons shares powerful observations and draws us into her unique worldview, leavened in her Nigerian roots, her years in Cuba, and her life today as Professor of Fine Arts and Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University. She has participated in the biennials of Venice, Dakar, and Johannesburg, in Documenta 1...

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May 31, 2020 26 min

Why don’t American artists have the same rights as artists in Europe? This week we speak with Janet Hicks, Vice President and Director of Licensing of the Artists Rights Society, or ARS. We discuss what protections are in and not in current U.S. copyright law, the kinds of uses ARS licenses for reproduction, the premise of so-called moral rights, a prospective resale royalty that would compensate artists for works sold by later own...

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May 24, 2020 25 min

Who’s responsible for the promulgation of human knowledge? If you answered Wikipedia, think again. Our guest this week is Jennifer Crewe, director of Columbia University Press, and immediate past president of the 150-member Association of University Presses. The first woman director of an Ivy League university press, she reveals the business model of academic publishing, trends in book-buying during the pandemic, the politics of su...

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May 17, 2020 25 min

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden provides a critical platform for contemporary artists in America’s capital. Leading the Hirshhorn since 2014, Dr. Melissa Chiu joins the podcast, sharing details about her early years in Australia, directing the Asia Society Museum in New York, the future expansion of the Hirshhorn, the likely fate of global art programming in the wake of the pandemic, performance art in an age of social di...

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