Staff Updates

Staff Updates – September 2011

In September, Dr. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch, the Marguerite Jones Harbert and John M. Harbert III Curator of Decorative Arts, gave a lecture at the Second International Meeting of the Friends of Ornamental Cast Iron held in Bendorf-Sayn, Germany. The meeting brought together scholars and collectors from around the world to present and discuss the latest research in the field. The Birmingham Museum of Art houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of decorative cast iron in the world, the Gustav Lamprecht Collection, given to the Museum in 1986 by the American Cast Iron Pipe Company. The Collection was published in 2009 in the fully illustrated catalogue, European Cast Iron in the Birmingham Museum of Art. Anne has also been invited to review the new publication, This Blessed Plot, This Earth: English Pottery Studies in Honour of Jonathan Horne, edited by Amanda Dunsmore, for the ceramics journal Ars Ceramica. The publication brings together fresh scholarship from experts in the field of English pottery.

Samantha Kelly, Curator of Education, delivered an interactive talk to incoming freshmen students at UAB during the annual Museum College Night on Tuesday, August 30. “Pictured in My Mind: An Experience in Visual Thinking” provoked students to engage with works of art in the Museum’s collection. The talk and event were focused on themes from the book Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin, which every freshman is required to read during the 2011–2012 academic year.

Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art, has been invited to lecture at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Thursday, October 20, at 6 pm in conjunction with the exhibition The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design (September 24, 2011 – January 15, 2012). Boettcher’s talk, entitled “From Tufts and Tassels to Tubular Steel: The Modernization of the American Interior,” examines the changing nature of furniture in the American domestic interior, from the frills of the late Victorian period to sleek mid-20th century objects. Boettcher will discuss the impact of the sanitary movement, design reform, and the availability of new materials on American style. Graham also will give a lecture Sunday, November 6, at 2:15 p.m., at the Birmingham Public Library, entitled “The Industrial City Beautiful: Artists of the Birmingham Scene from the Great Depression Through World War II.” The lecture is in conjunction with the exhibition The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork from the 1930s and 1940s, organized by the Birmingham Historical Society, November 6–December 30, 2011.

During a June trip to Washington, D.C., BMA Curator Dr. Emily Hanna met with the Ambassador of Ghana, The Honorable Daniel Ohene Agyekum, and the Cultural Attaché, Mrs. Vanessa Mensah-Adu, to discuss plans for the re-installation of the African gallery at the BMA in the spring of 2013 and related programming. Mrs. Gwen Amamoo, President of the Birmingham/Ghana Sister City Committee, also participated in the meeting. Emily also conducted research on the BMA’s Native American collection at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Ron Platt, the Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, is organizing the exhibition LA Skin & Ink: Tattooing in Los Angeles, 1970s to the Present, for the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles, where it will open in September 2012.

Dr. Jeannine O’Grody, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, will take part in the 2011–2012 class of Leadership Birmingham. The program prepares and encourages its graduates to engage in greater individual and group action in order to contribute to the betterment of the community and its people.

The Education Department is delighted to announce that Sarah Mills Nee has joined the team as Education Assistant. Sarah has a master’s degree in Art History from the University of Denver, and will be a great new addition to the Museum family.