Rethinking the 'contemporary' in contemporary art museums


Grappling with cuts to public funding while still seeking to represent the interests of the mainstream public, some museums of contemporary art are devising compelling alternatives to the long-held notion that bigger is better. Learn more when art historian and critic Claire Bishop presents "Radical Museology, or, What's Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art?" at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Akron Art Museum, One South High St., in downtown Akron.

Claire Bishop

The free lecture is part of The University of Akron's Catherine H. Campbell Memorial Art History Lecture Series, which brings prominent art historians to Akron each year. The late Catherine Campbell, a 1988 graduate of the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at UA, established the series that now continues in its 13th year through the generosity of her family and friends.

During her lecture, Bishop will examine the collection displays of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, and the MSUM in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as examples of museums that are rethinking the contemporary in contemporary art.

Bishop is based in the Ph.D. program in art history at the City University of New York's Graduate Center. Her books include "Installation Art: A Critical History" (2005) and "Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship" (2012), for which she won the 2013 Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism. She is the editor of "Participation" (2006) and "1968-1989: Political Upheaval and Artistic Change" (2010). She is a regular contributor to Artforum, and her next book, with the same title as her Sept. 25 lecture in Akron, will be published this fall by Koenig Books.

For more information on the Campbell Art History Lecture Series, contact The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art at 330-972-6030.

Media contacts: Cyndee Snider (UA), 330-972-5196 or, or Alison Caplan (Akron Art Museum), 330-376-9186, ext. 230, or