Behold, America! Symposium, Part 4
Derrick Cartwright, Ph.D.
Director of University Galleries and Professor of Practice, Art History at the University of San Diego
Proliferating Participation: American Art Displays in Eras of Crisis
Contemporary American museum culture is fraught with challenges. In the face of weakening public support, institutions today claim that they seek audience engagement as a key to maintaining relevance and achieving sustainability. This talk explores the ways that "participation" has often been held up as a virtue by American art exhibitions past and present. From Robert Henri's 1915 exhibition of Modern American Painting at the Panama California Exposition to ambitious projects, like Behold, America!, the stakes of encouraging new participatory practices have at once evolved and grown more urgent across the United States.