Curating Controversy: A Seminar for Art Curators


Call for Applications!

National Coalition Against Censorship

Deadline: February 28 

Curators are, perhaps, the most vulnerable individuals during a controversy.  Their jobs are often at stake as they are under pressure from artists who are rarely willing to negotiate the presentation of their work and from museum administrators concerned about donors, trustees, legal liabilities and public relations.  This one-day seminar offers curators the opportunity to discuss, among colleagues and with experts, the challenges of organizing and presenting exhibitions containing controversial work.  The seminar sessions will be followed by an evening panel discussion that will be open to the public.

Given that it is curators who frame the context of an exhibition, during a controversy they are usually the ones to also negotiate with the hosting institution and the general public, handle the fallout of controversies, while also making decisions about keeping or removing specific works.  The goal of this seminar series is to inform and equip curators with strategic and legal means with which to safeguard their curatorial vision and to negotiate effectively with diverse and interested parties.

The seminar consists of four sessions, led by Johanna Burton, director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum, Laura Raicovich, Director of the Queens Museum of Art, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, artist and art lawyer, and Robert Storr, artists and curator, Dean of the Yale School of Art.

Application process: the workshop is open to early and mid-career curators-both independent and those working within institutions.  The Seminar Series is limited to 15 participants.

For more information visit

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