Last April here, I spilled the beans on a new research program between MoMA and several universities called the Museum Research Consortium. It’s a four-year pilot program aimed at studying objects in MoMA’s collection. Last Thursday, MoMA finally put out a press release with more details.
The museum announced the personnel involved from Princeton, Columbia, Yale, NYU-IFA and the Graduate Center of the City of New York, all under the direction of MoMA curator Leah Dickerman. Here’s the key component:
The program will unite the Museum’s resources and expertise with those of the five partners through the initiation of two complementary programmatic features: semi-annual Study Sessions and pre-doctoral Fellowships.
The study sessions will also include faculty and graduate students from the university partner programs, and other experts invited by MoMA. What will they study?
The topic of the first Study Session, to be held in January 2014, will be the work of Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901-1985). Joint research on objects considered during the Study Sessions will continue on an inter-institutional web platform designed to foster shared scholarship and to build, through the Consortium community’s common efforts, deep research files and commentary around studied objects.
MoMA owns many works by Dubuffet, including Grand Jazz Band (New Orleans), from 1944, shown here.
As I said when I broke the “news” on this, it’s great to put students in close contact with great works of art — not to mention a group of experts from different universities and outsiders with different perspectives.
It might even be called connoisseurship.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of MoMA