The BMA was pleased to welcome Kaywin Feldman, Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC as the speaker of its 2021 Annual Chenoweth Lecture. Feldman presented Building a National Collection in a Changing Nation.
The National Gallery of Art is an institution of intriguing paradox. Founded by millionaire Andrew Mellon to educate a monolithic populace and to bestow contemporary ideas of good taste, Mellon’s offering was in fact a grand populist gesture, a true gift to the nation. What does it mean to be and to become a nation’s art museum during a time of immense global volatility and complexity? Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, explores the National Gallery’s unique but ever-changing purpose as the national art museum, and the challenges and opportunities of transformation along with the American nation.
Kaywin Feldman is the National Gallery’s fifth director and its first woman director. She has been a leader in making the institution more inclusive, diverse, equitable and transparent. Feldman is committed to connecting people to art in a globalized world through the power of wonder and accessibility. Prior to her arrival, Feldman served for 11 years as the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). She is a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the White House Historical Association, and the Chipstone Foundation, and a member of the State Hermitage Museum International Advisory Board. She is a past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and past chair of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Feldman received an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (1991), an MA in Museum Studies from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London (1990), and a BA, summa cum laude, in Classical Archaeology from the University of Michigan (1988), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
The Chenoweth lectures are endowed by Dr. Arthur I. Chenoweth as a memorial to his brother and parents. The purpose of the lectures is to encourage international understanding through the presentation of a variety of subjects by specialists in their fields.