Black ink woodblock print of an elderly woman reaching to the ground

Ernst Barlach, German (1870 – 1938), Kindertod [A Child’s Death], 1920, 96/100, woodcut, 14 ½ x 17 ½ inches sheet. Gift of Anna C. Hoyt, Brookline, Massachusetts, 55.57. Photo courtesy and © CU Art Museum.

ARGUSEUM: Curating the Controversial
November 16, 2017—February 3, 2018

This exhibit was curated by Thora Brylowe’s First-Year Seminar students as part of her class "Saving the World: Museums, Collections, and Archives". Over the course of the semester students learned why and how people and institutions collect and display artifacts. For this exhibition, the class, under the guidance of the art museum staff, thought carefully about the concerns public museums face as they display objects of controversial origin or with controversial content. They selected items that cover an array of subject matter, from objects that depict death to those that exploit for the purposes of propaganda to those that turn the conventions of the Western nude on its head. Students were challenged to maintain respect for the objects and for museum visitors as they curated a collection of artifacts the museum must display with care.


Special thanks to:
Jen Shannon, curator and associate professor of cultural anthropology, and David Shneer, Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History and chair of the Department of Religious Studies