Video: Curators give talk, tour at Palmer Museum of Art

By Melissa Beattie-Moss
April 03, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- At a recent Research Unplugged program at Penn State's Palmer Museum of Art, curators Joyce Robinson and Dana Carlisle Kletchka presented a talk and tour, "Behind the Scenes at the Museum: What Do Curators Do?"

Robinson, curator of art and affiliate associate professor of art history, is a specialist in modern American and European art, and teaches courses primarily on African American art. She described factors that curators weigh when selecting and purchasing a work of art. In particular, she described her interest in the innovative style of contemporary Brazilian-American artist Vik Muniz and the process by which she acquired his work for the museum's collection. Muniz is known for recreating famous artworks with materials other than paint -- including garbage, toys, and food -- and then photographing the finished pieces, before dismantling them.

Dana Carlisle Kletchka the museum's curator of education, then led the attendees on a tour of a second floor gallery and explained the public education aspect of a museum curator's work.

In this video clip, Kletchka describes the Muniz work titled "Sarah Bernhardt" from Rebus, Muniz's series of art pieces made entirely from toys. Kletchka invites the audience to find and name the different types of toys Muniz used to construct the image, such as Legos, rubber bands, beads, toy soldiers and Pez dispensers, and to speculate on the artist's methods and meanings.

When museum attendees are polled about their favorite pieces of art at The Palmer, "Sarah Bernhardt" from Rebus is frequently named as a particularly memorable work, according to Kletchka.

Research Unplugged is held from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on six consecutive Thursdays during the spring and fall semesters in the Schlow Centre Region Library's Downsbrough Community Room in State College. The programs are free and open to all, with complimentary free refreshments, and are sponsored by Penn State University Relations and the Office of the Vice President for Research, in cooperation with Schlow Centre Region Library.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 28, 2017