Episode 100: Museum Curation with Jacqueline Stewart and Tyree Boyd-Pates

This week we are joined by archivist Jacqueline Stewart and historian Tyree Boyd-Pates to discuss the power of museum curation. The role of the museum curator is critical to the way that museums are experienced. We begin by discussing museums as “safe spaces for dangerous ideas” – in other words, how museums can be harbingers of racist and colonialist rhetoric when spaces are improperly curated. Museums can not only present history through materials, but also have the power to represent the present materials. We then discuss how museums can be spaces of change through seeing not only more presentation of anti-colonial materials, but also seeing those materials represented through an anti-colonial gaze. The guests stress the importance of having more African American curators in order to not only tell the history of a people, but of the community as well.

Jacqueline Stewart is film scholar, archivist, curator and a Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College, Director of Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago. She is also the Chief artistic and programming officer at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. She also serves as an appointee to the National Film Preservation Board and hosts Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies.

Stewart is also the author of Migrating to the Movies Cinema and Black Urban Modernity and William Greaves Filmaking as Mission, and is an editor of L.A. Rebellion Creating a New Black Cinema.

Tyree Boyd-Pates is a historian, speaker,  and museum curator at the Autry Museum of the American West as the Associate Curator of Western History. He previously held the position of History Curator and Public Program Manager at the California African American Museum. He began his career as a Professor of Africana Studies at California State University Dominguez Hills. He has curated shows for notable institutions such as the Smithsonian, the LA Philharmonic, The Getty, and more. 

A full transcript of this episode will be available soon!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

“Where Are the Jews?”

Black Films at TCM

Black Cinema at the Academy Museum

“Oscars So White”

Iris Barry

Lewis Jacob

Oscar Micheaux

Anna May Wong ; Academy Series 

Academy Museum Podcast

Making  film history more inclusive

Racism in Animation

Gene Autry

Community Curation

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