Curation and the Democracy of Arts

Curators play a significant role in shaping the visual dialogue of our times, in ways that are often mysterious or obscure in the minds of the museum-going public. Keely Orgeman and Justin Brown will have a conversation delving into the curatorial process, addressing a range of considerations—from logistical to political—involved in the implementation of exhibitions and the interpretation of collections. 

Keely Orgeman

Keely Orgeman is the Alice and Allan Kaplan Associate Curator in the Department of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University in 2014, writing her dissertation on representations of radioactivity in American art. At BU, she received the Presidential Fellowship, as well as the Jan and Warren Adelson Fellowship in American Art, organized the exhibition Atomic Afterimage: Cold War Imagery in Contemporary Art(2008) at the Boston University Art Gallery, and authored its accompanying catalogue. Since coming to Yale in fall 2008, she has served in several curatorial roles in the American Paintings and Sculpture Department and has contributed entries and essays to museum publications, including collection catalogues and the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin. In 2017, she organized the traveling exhibition Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light for the Yale Art Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Washington, D.C., which was accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. Currently, she is embarking on a new project that centers on a historical portrait miniature. 

Justin Brown

Justin Brown is a Ph.D. student in the Department of the History of Art at Yale. He primarily studies European art and intellectual history with an interest in discourses of race and difference in the early modern period. Before coming to Yale, Justin worked for two years as the Luce Curatorial Assistant in American Art at the Worcester Art Museum. There he was co-curator of Picket Fence to Picket Line: Visions of American Citizenship, an exhibition that focused on the diverse visualizations of the privileges of citizenship throughout American history. He hopes to continue engaging in meaningful curatorial work by opening critical dialogues and exposing neglected narratives in art history and cultural institutions

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