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Symposia at the Archives of American Art

Past Symposia

A Symposium on Robert Motherwell

Robert Motherwell writing, 1944 June

Robert Motherwell writing, 1944 June

Symposium, December 4, 2015
Washington, D.C.

The Archives of American Art hosted an afternoon symposium in honor of the centenary of Robert Motherwell’s birth on December 4, 2015 in the MacMillan Education Center at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

There were two panels: one of scholars and one of artists. Scholars include Jennifer Cohen, PhD Candidate, University of Chicago, “Painting in Print: Robert Motherwell’s New Painting and A la pintura, 1968–1972;” Gregory Gilbert, Professor of Art History and Director of the Art History Program Knox College, “Pragmatist Poetics in the Early Art of Robert Motherwell;” and Kent Minturn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Institute for Fine Arts, New York University “Meyer Schapiro and Robert Motherwell.” Artists included Carrie Moyer, David Reed, and John Zinsser. Funding was generously provided by the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.

Watch the archived proceedings on YouTube


The Multi-Media Archive: Stewardship and Use of Audiovisual Media Documenting Contemporary Art History

Symposium, March 27, 2015
Washington, D.C.

On March 27, 2015, the Archives of American Art hosted a symposium, “The Multi-Media Archive: Stewardship and Use of Audiovisual Media Documenting Contemporary Art History,” which was held at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, in Washington D.C.

View the archived schedule


Leo Castelli in a room of the Jasper Johns exhibit at the Castelli Gallery, 1958

Leo Castelli, 1958

American Art History and Digital Scholarship: New Avenues of Exploration

Symposium and Workshop, November 15–6, 2013
Washington, D.C.

The purpose of this symposium was to convene scholars, curators, archivists, librarians, graduate students, technical experts, and the public to consider American art history in a digital world. The symposium examined ways to integrate digital tools and/or resources into the study of American art and to encourage collaboration. Funding was generously provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Watch the archived webcast

Download the Report on the Symposium and Workshop [PDF]
This report, released January 2014, summarizes the presentations, discussions and common themes that emerged from the American Art History and Digital Scholarship symposium and workshop.


Artists & Archives: A Pacific Standard Time Symposium

November 12, 2011
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California

In recent decades, artists have become increasingly interested in archives both as inspiration and as an artistic medium. Accumulating and sorting—the same impulses that drive the creation of an archive—feed the process of making assemblages and collages. Conceptual and performance art continue to blur the line between art and documentation. And more recently, many artists draw on the archive to revisit and reenact earlier works. This symposium considered how archives not only trace the creative process, but also become part of that process and even of the work itself.

A panel of artists and scholars explored the ways contemporary artists incorporate archives into their work. Invited speakers include artists George Herms, Suzanne Lacy, and Mario Garcia Torres, and scholar Sven Spieker.

Artists & Archives was presented in conjunction with Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics, 1950–1980—a Pacific Standard Time exhibition rooted in the archival holdings of Getty Research Institute's Special Collections.

This symposium was organized by the Getty Research Institute in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.

Watch the archived webcast

Questions? Email AAAsymposium@si.edu