Part 7: Glenn Adamson - More Than a Feeling: The Museum as Research Institution.
This one-day symposium recorded at the Anna Freud Centre on 26 January 2013 was timed to accompany the exhibition DreamWork by artist and researcher Christie Brown. It considered the relationship between ceramic art practice and museum collections within the broader context of contemporary visual culture. The symposium address key areas of inspiration for artists within this context, by focussing on the dialogue between the concept, the collection and the specific nature of the site. Papers will feature a subjective response to Freud’s archaic figurative collection, the uncanny notion of the inner life in inanimate objects and the private house as museum, broadening out to raise curatorial and theoretical questions around the nature of this art practice within post modern culture and ideology.
The symposium forms part of the research project Ceramics in the Expanded Field (www.ceramics-in-the-expanded-field.com) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the University of Westminster in London. Researchers Christie Brown, Julian Stair and Clare Twomey and PhD student Laura Breen form the team for this project and the exhibition DreamWork is a key element in the dissemination of the outcomes. The major objective of the project is to investigate the ways in which contemporary ceramic artists have used ceramic practice to initiate new ways of working and new dialogues within the context of museums.
Speaker Biographies & Abstracts
Glenn Adamson is Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Dr. Adamson is co-editor of the triannual Journal of ModernCraft, and the author of Thinking Through Craft (Berg Publishers/V&APublications), an anthology entitled The Craft Reader (Berg, 2010), and theforthcoming book The Invention of Craft (Berg, 2013). His other publications include the co-edited volume GlobalDesign History (Routledge, 2011). He was the co-curator for the exhibitionPostmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970 to 1990, which was on view at theV&A from September 2011 to January 2012.
Abstract: Museums are many things: spaces of entertainment, places to meet friends, repositories of objects. But of course they are also structures built on expertise. In this talk, Glenn Adamson will speak from his experience as Head of Research at the V&A. After a brief description of the way that research operates at this museum, he will address strategic priorities and opportunities for object-led research in the 21st century. Among the topics covered will be research in a digital space; issues of intellectual property; the relationship between academic and commercial content; and transformations in the nature of curatorial work and expertise.