A Conversation Series on Museum Practice: On Context: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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A Conversation Series on Museum Practice: On Context

exhibit/program title that reads "A Site of Struggle" and then "A Conversation Series on Museum Practice: On Context"
6 PM-7:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Wed April 20, 2022
6 PM-7:30 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public, online


About the Program
On Context

This conversation focuses on a case study of the exhibition, Reckoning with “The Incident”: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural. The panelists explore considerations around its presentation, campus and community engagement, and programmatic strategies at three academic art museums located in different regions of the country. 

With Maurita Poole, Director of the Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane University, former Director and Curator of the museum at Clark Atlanta University; Molleen Theodore, Associate Curator of Programs, Yale University Art Gallery; and Tilly Woodward, Curator of Academic and Community Outreach, Grinnell College Museum of Art.

Moderated by Lucy Mensah, Assistant Professor of Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Art & Art History. 


mnp-headshot.jpgMaurita N. Poole holds a doctorate from Emory University in Anthropology, an MPH from Rollins School of Public Health, and a BS in Arabic and Government from Georgetown University. Poole most recently served as director and curator at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum (CAUAM). As director, she strengthened the museum’s infrastructure and provided opportunities for the next generation of museum professionals. She created and managed the Tina Dunkley Fellowship in American Art, a collaborative Diversity in Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI) involving CAUAM, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), and the Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA). In addition, she developed the “Black Optics Artist Residency,” a platform that connects artists of African descent from the American South and Global South. Her curatorial projects have focused on African and African Diaspora art. In 2021, she curated the complementary exhibitions Wilay Mendez Paez: Notes from the Underground and Portals to a New World at The Atlanta Contemporary and CAUAM.

theodore.jpgMolleen Theodore is the Associate Curator of Programs at the Yale University Art Gallery where she develops and oversees public programs. She collaborates across the museum, the university, and the community, developing partnerships to foster interdisciplinary connections, making space for new and multiple voices, and leading the student Program Advisory Committee. Molleen has organized many program series, including the “Dada Un-Symposium” and “1968: Fifty Years Later,” as well as programming to enrich and enliven exhibitions, most recently for Places, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art and Reckoning with “The Incident”: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural. Additionally, she has supervised students in curating exhibitions. Molleen holds a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center with a focus on the art of the 1960s and 1970s. 

tilly.jpgTilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach at Grinnell College Museum of Art, has been leading innovative programming and building relationships with campus and community partners since 2007. She collaborates with stakeholders to design and implement a full range of interdisciplinary classes, programs and events in the museum, throughout campus and in the community, connecting with a wide range of academic, non-academic and neurodiverse audiences, including pre-K, K-12 and college students and educators, through seeing, thinking, talking, listening, making and writing. She also leads a team of student interns who expand GCMoA’s outreach on campus and in the community. Tilly graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Kansas.  

lucy_mensah-headshot.jpgLucy Mensah is an assistant professor of Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research and teaching interests cover critical museology in the African diaspora, alternative curatorial practices, and exhibition writing. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Literary & Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. Her current book project examines the nature of museological critique in Black feminist literary and visual cultures. Mensah has held curatorial and research appointments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) in Washington D.C., the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

About the Series
On Collaboration, Context, and Counterpoints: A Conversation Series on Museum Practice

A three-part series in Zoom:

Guests may register for as many sessions they wish.

Originating at Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art, A Site of Struggle explores how artists have engaged with the reality of anti-Black violence and its accompanying challenges of representation in the United States over a 100 + year period. The Block Museum exhibition will tour to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama August 13-November 6, 2022.

In conjunction with this exhibition, curators, educators, and scholars will share their reflections in a three-part conversation series on museum practice, engaging communities with care, and exhibiting challenging material related to race, violence, and our shared histories.

Lead support for this program is generously provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. 


Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at block-museum@northwestern.edu