UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 06 Spring 17 Library
Tom Cogill
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

Kluge-Ruhe Opens Curatorial Lab @ UVA

Visitors to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection will find one gallery filled with the ultimate work-in-progress. Curator of the Indigenous Arts of Australia, Henry Skerritt has converted it to a constantly evolving laboratory featuring the curatorial work of students in his class titled “Did Aboriginal Artists Invent Contemporary Art?” Students selected the paintings in the exhibition and are engaged in extensive and in-depth research on each work, combining visual analysis with critical reading of primary and secondary sources. 

(Photo: Tom Cogill)

“UVA has the best research collection of Aboriginal Art in the world,” Skerritt said, “and Curatorial Lab @ UVA establishes our leadership in object-based research.” Students are recording their findings in labels that track their research progress. “Through the process of peer review and revision,” Skerritt added, “the students have refined their written work to a publishable quality while practicing the skill of critically evaluating the work of others.” Art History and Media Studies major Abby Wall (College ‘17) said, “While the classroom has been invaluable to my time at the university, it is rewarding to be able to witness first-hand how a show is actually curated alongside an experienced curator in a resourceful museum by way of the Curatorial Lab. I feel more prepared to potentially enter the museum industry having participated in such a practical opportunity.”  The exhibition will be on view at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection through July 9, 2017.

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