CCL Announces 2019 CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar Students

2019 Seminar_Composite Image

The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) is pleased to announce the sixteen art history doctoral students selected for the sixth annual CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice. 

Joining from fifteen universities—six of which are sending a student to the program for the first time—this year’s cohort addresses a wide range of scholarship, including 9th-12thcentury rock-carved Buddhist imagery in Korea, the Puerto Rican avant-garde from the 1960s to 70s, Trecento representations of dreaming, modern and contemporary Moroccan Art, the contributions of women during the Black Arts Movement, and reliquaries at the Court of Charles V. Collectively they exemplify approaches to art historical scholarship that endeavor to breakdown institutional silos and to expand the audience for and impact of their respective disciplines. 

During the two-week intensive in New York this July, the CCL/Mellon Seminar will provide the cohort with unique access as well as an in-depth introduction to curatorial practice and to the roles and responsibilities of curators in a variety of institutional settings. The students will expand upon their scholarship by meeting with trustees, conservators, critics, museum directors, and funders to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing museums today. 

In these sessions, students are exposed to, among other topics, the practicalities of acquiring and deaccessioning works of art, caring for and storing a collection of objects, audience and community engagement, supporting new scholarship, and ways in which collections frame a museum's identity and the scope of a curator's work. In turn, the students will have opportunity to gain greater context in which to understand the importance of their own scholarship and to expand their understanding of the role of museums in charting a place for artists and movements that have been historically marginalized. These discussions are complemented by practical coursework led by Columbia Business School faculty, which will cover core business principles to offer a nuanced understanding of organizational strategy. For instance, students will be taught the basics of institutional and curatorial budgeting responsibilities. Likewise, a course on self-management contextualizes the need for effective collaboration—a skill distinct from the isolated realities of dissertation writing. 

The CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar was founded in 2014 with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to provide the next generation of curators with an expanded set of tools and enhanced critical framework as they enter the field. As museums seek to hire a new generation of curators, who are not only qualified scholars, but who also understand the issues facing museums and are dedicated to forwarding innovative programming, CCL offers a professional platform for a young diverse pool of talent to be fostered and recognized. 


The participants, listed alphabetically, are: 


Jennifer Baez, Florida State University, Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic Arts

Tina Barouti, Boston University, African Art

Marlise G. Brown, Temple University, 17th and 18th Century European Art & Architecture

Alicia Caticha, University of Virginia, 18th Century French Art

Joy Xiao Chen, University of California, Los Angeles, Chinese Art

Caitlin C. Clerkin, University of Michigan, Classical Art and Archaeology (Hellenistic and Roman)

Tara Contractor, Yale University, 19th Century British Art

Kendall DeBoer, University of Rochester, 20th Century Craft, Self-Taught Art, and Surrealism

Kiara Hill, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, African American Contemporary Art

Sharrissa Iqbal, University of California Irvine, 20th Century American Art

Clare Kobasa, Columbia University, Southern European Renaissance and Baroque Art

Elizabeth Lee, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, East Asian Art and Archaeology

Adam Harris Levine, Columbia University, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture

Melissa M. Ramos Borges, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Contemporary Puerto Rican Art

Danny Smith, Stanford University, Medieval Art

Hannah Yohalem, Princeton University, Modern & Contemporary Art