Does Cosmopolitanism Offer Answers to Inclusive Practices in the Art Museum? One Case Study in New Orleans

By Deborah Randolph and Ann Rowson Love.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Employing the philosophical approach of cosmopolitanism, the authors re-frame their research on the Artists and Sense of Place museum-school residency program at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. The program concentrated on placing artists represented in the permanent collection in their own neighborhood elementary schools to explore sense of place and to build community ownership of a new art museum. Resulting works of art were exhibited at the museum and later entered the collection and were installed at the school sites. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, the neighborhoods of New Orleans drastically changed. In addition to a changed demographic and shifting cultural identity in New Orleans, the role of memory-keeping added another layer of meaning to the residency projects and their place in the art museum. Over the past few years, the presenters conducted content analysis from artifacts, collected over a ten-year period, – evaluations, photo archives, written curriculum materials – and conducted interviews with principals and artists. Theoretical frameworks applied to this work included social justice and critical place-based pedagogy, but findings also suggest a new frame, one that provides a philosophical orientation toward inclusive museum practices regarding museum-school residency programs. Cosmopolitanism is generally considered a philosophical orientation that moves beyond multiculturalism and pluralism. It encompasses both local, or place-formed, cultural identity as well as shared identities and values across boundaries. Through the lens of cosmopolitanism, the authors will address cultural identity understandings of residency participants – artists, students, principals, museum educators – and ultimately, how this case study offers insights into inclusive museum practices for our visitors.

Keywords: Cosmopolitanism, Place-conscience Education, Cultural Identity, Art Museum-school Residency, Social Justice Issues

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.37-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.866MB).

Deborah Randolph

Doctoral Student, Culture, Curriculum, and Change, School of Education, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Deborah Randolph is currently a doctoral student in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on arts integration in the American South. Randolph is the former Associate Curator of Education at the The Ogden Museum of Southern Art-University of New Orleans.She came to that position from the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans, which provided professional development and support for school principals.

Dr. Ann Rowson Love

Director, Museum Studies, Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois, USA

Ann Rowson Love is the director of Western Illinois University’s graduate museum studies program at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. She is completing her doctorate in art education focused on art museum education and program evaluation from Florida State University. Prior to her position at WIU, Ann was the founding curator of education at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art-University of New Orleans, where she was also an adjunct faculty member in arts administration, liberal arts, and education. Ann has been an art museum educator and arts administrator for 18 years at a number of museums and affiliated universities in the Midwest and Southeast United States including the Spencer Museum of Art/University of Kansas, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and the Morris Museum of Art. She directed a Getty Regional Institute in visual art at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga funded by the J. Paul Getty Trust. In addition to publishing art museum education research and curriculum, Ann presents at regional, national, and international conferences on topics related to constructivist museum practices, art museum education, and program evaluation.

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