Virtual art curators conference, organized by AAMC


A virtual Conference organized by the Association of Art Museum Curators from New York took place on 1, 4 and 5 May 2020. It was held virtually, using the application Zoom group chat, since the intended Conference in Seattle had to be cancelled because of the extraordinary circumstances caused by Covid 19 pandemic.
AAMC, an association and a foundation with the offices in New York, has more than 1300 members from more than 400 institutions located in 18 countries across the world. It was founded in 2001, with the mission to support and promote the work of museum curators by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development and advancement. Besides organizing an annual Conference, AAMC is very active and engaged in organizing numerous webinars and online meetings for its members, all with the aim of enhancing and intensifying communication and interconnection of the members. In addition to that, AAMC gives Awards for Excellence and Travel Fellowships annually. The Awards for Excellence are given for the outstanding exhibition; catalogue; online publication; and text. The Conference Travel Fellowships are given in the categories of Junior Curators; American Art Curators; and Curators Based in the Balkan Peninsula.
By organizing its first virtual conference, AAMC has very promptly and successfully responded to the new, unprecedented circumstances of the global pandemic. Besides discussions dedicated to the topics of general importance for all curators, like the question of self-imposed boundaries and the barriers that are imposed on us by others (terms by Vishakha Desai), discussing the most desirable (or the most important) qualities of a curator and the selective practices of hiring, examining the relationship of an art collector and a museum from the legal perspective, problematizing the new scholarly paradigm of the global which aims to override the usual art histories of the nationalistic provenance, and besides the more specialized panels dedicated to the particular USA context and the question of ethnic minorities, a considerable part of the presentations gave very insightful remarks on the unique, unprecedented situation we are all living; a situation of the pandemic and post-pandemic world. The speakers pointed out that the new situation will most certainly affect the museum – and, indeed, the whole cultural – sector, in a way that it will redirect it to focus on the impact instead of growth (terms by Kaywin Feldman); to focus more on the creativity and the public and its needs, as well as on taking a new approach to problem solving: by improvising at the given moment, just like jazz musicians (Marianne Lamonaca). A general sentiment of the Conference participants was expressed that the times in which we live are inviting us to embrace the risks, to step out of our comfort zone, and to try something new in our field.
AAMC virtual Conference 2020 was attended by 385 people, among these also the senior curator and collection manager of the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, Dr Svjetlana Sumpor, a winner of the AAMC Travel Fellowship 2020, which she is going to use for participating in the AAMC Conference in New York in May 2021.


The Croatian Museum of Naive Art
Sv. Ćirila i Metoda 3, Gornji grad
10000 Zagreb, CROATIA
tel/fax: +385.1.4851911


From Jan 1st 2020 the Museum is closed for visitors. 

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