Chairperson : Julian Goddard, Head of School of Design and Art, Curtin University
Darren Jorgensen, Assoc/Prof, School of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts, University of Western Australia
Alfred Barr and the origins of Modern Art
The founder of MOMA, Alfred Barr, took a democratic approach to the installation and exhibition of works of art. As a supporter of the avant-gardes and modernism, he radicalised the museum space, including within its walls everything from architectural models to flower displays. Perhaps more than any other figure, Barr was responsible for inaugurating the kinds of contradictions that inform museological discourses today. His art historical work on figures like Picasso, and his scholarship on the avant-garde, would serve to institutionalise the radical impulses of modernity, giving space to the most innovative of art forms he encountered. In this, Barr made the modern art museum what it is today, and sold it to a public who did not share a taste for high modernism. Barr saw the museum’s role in society as one that harboured innovation, and made this innovation accessible to a wide audience. This is Barr’s gift to the world, a gift that remains not only in MoMA, but in the model of the public art museum that is now a part of international culture.
Christopher Crouch, Professor of Design, School of Design and Art, Curtin University
“What would Diego Rivera say? Why does a successful business organisation like MoMA keep its finger on the pulse of aesthetic innovation?”
From when the Museum’s first director, Alfred Barr, met Diego Rivera in Moscow in 1928 and offered him an exhibition, to Target’s contemporary sponsorship of the museum’s ‘Free Friday’ programme, MoMA has supposedly balanced the radical with the corporate. What purpose does this mediation serve, and how does it frame the way in which we consume art?
Come down early and enjoy dinner and drinks at the Art Gallery Café and enjoy 10% off the à la carte menu.
Date: Wednesday 7 November
Time: 6.30pm (7pm start)
Tickets $20 or $16 concession
Location: Art Gallery Café