Weitzman News

  • Sharon Hayes, If They Should Ask, installation at Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, 2017

    Photo by Steve Weinik courtesy Monument Lab

Work in Progress: Monuments and the Politics of Commemoration

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 6:30pm
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Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, Upper Gallery

Cities around the U.S. are grappling with controversies related to public art, historical monuments, and other memorials. The panelists for this event will discuss ways that curators, artists, historians, and preservationists have responded to these waves of controversy with new approaches to building equity and collectivity in public spaces. They will discuss recent projects related to the topic in several cities, including Philadelphia, New York, and Birmingham, as well as historical notions of permanence attached to memorial sites.

Paul M. Farber, PhD, lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, is a historian, curator, and educator. He is the artistic director and co-founder of Monument Lab, a national public art and history studio currently based at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) and co-editor of Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia (Temple University Press, 2019).  His work on culture has also previously appeared in the GuardianMuseums & Social IssuesDiplomatic HistoryArt & the Public Sphere, Vibe, and on NPR.

Amy Freitag (MSHP’94, MLA’94) is the executive director of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, a Manhattan-based family foundation that supports heritage conservation, as well as environment and social justice causes. Previously, she served as the executive director of the New York Restoration Project and as the U.S. program director for the World Monuments Fund. She recently served on the NYC Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, Markers and sits on the boards of Philanthropy New York, New York Preservation Archive Project, and the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.

Sharon Hayes, associate professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, engages multiple mediums–video, performance, and installation–in ongoing investigation into specific intersections between history, politics and speech. Hayes has had solo exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York), Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid). Her work been shown at the Venice Biennale (2013), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York) and numerous museums and venues in Europe and the Americas.

Aaron Wunsch, associate professor of landscape architecture at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, teaches architectural history and related subjects in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. He holds a BA in history from Haverford College, an MA in architectural history from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Palazzos of Power: Central Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1900-1930 (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016) and a forthcoming book on Philadelphia cemeteries (University of Pennsylvania). 

Reception to follow.