On Thursday, June 25, DeCordova
will host a panel discussion featuring exhibiting artists Barnaby Furnas and Matthew Day Jackson as well as Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Curator Toby Kamps, Boston-based writer and critic Greg Cook, and Ken Turino of Historic England. The panel will explore the role national history and folklore plays in the interpretation of modern American aesthetics. This program is free and open to the public, with guided tours preceding the panel at 5:15 pm and 5:45 pm.
The panel will be moderated by Megan Marshall, Assistant Professor at Emerson College. Megan Marshall is the author of two nonfiction books. Her biography, The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (2005), has won many awards including the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the society of American Historians; the Massachusetts Book Award in nonfiction; and it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and memoir. Marshall has also received prestigious fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation.
Topics for the discussion will include: What is an American aesthetic, and how does so-called American individuality affect this concept? What is the dialogue between culture, history, and art and what happens at the intersection of these three ideas? How can the past tell us more about who we are today?
Cook is the editor of The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research, an online blog that features exhibitions and events in New England. Cook is also a regular contributor to The Phoenix, an award winning publication known for its journalism on arts and entertainment in the New England region. A reporter for over 10 years, Cook is also part of a new wave of underground cartoonists.
A featured artist in The Old, Weird America exhibition, Furnas was born in Philadelphia, PA. In 2000, he received a Masters of Fine Arts from Columbia University. Furnas frequently exhibits in museums and galleries across America as well as in Europe; his most recent solo exhibitions have been at Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA (2009); Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, UK (2008); and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX.
Matthew Day Jackson:
Also featured in The Old, Weird America, Jackson was born in Panorama City, CA. In 2001, he received his Masters in Fine Arts from the Mason Gross School of Arts, Rutgers University. He currently has a solo exhibition entitled Matthew Day Jackson: The Immeasurable Distance at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA.
Kamps is the senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the organizer of the traveling exhibition The Old, Weird America, now on view at DeCordova.
Turino is the Exhibitions Manager at Historic New England, one of the oldest and largest regional heritage organizations in the nation.
This panel has been created in response to DeCordovas current exhibition The Old, Weird America. An award-winning traveling show, The Old, Weird America is the first museum exhibition that explores the wide-spread resurgence of folk imagery and mythic history in recent art from the United States. The exhibition illustrates the relevance and appeal of folklore to contemporary artists, as well as the genres power to illuminate ingrained cultural forces and overlooked histories.