Museum Confidential

In a special report, we speak with New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Zachary Small about their bombshell investigation into 31-year-old (now former) Erie Art Museum Director, Joshua Helmer, and his related sexual harassment scandals at that institution and at his previous job: the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Hosted by Jeff Martin with Philbrook Museum of Art and produced by Scott Gregory with Public Radio Tulsa.    

Colleen Dilenschneider

Jan 10, 2020

One name keeps popping up as one of the most important younger voices on the future of museums. That name is Colleen Dilenschneider. Through short videos, presentations, and data driven articles at her website, Colleen consistently boils down industry studies and presents them in a digestible, reliably optimistic way. Think of a museum-focused Malcolm Gladwell...who's a giddy millennial. On this episode of MC, we chat with Colleen about that future she’s always talking about.

Courtesy

2019 marks the 60th anniversary (October 1959) of New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Guggenheim was the final and perhaps crowning achievement of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This year is also the 60th anniversary of Wright’s death (April 1959). All these decades later, the legendary architect remains a complicated figure.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we offer another edition of the popular Museum Confidential podcast, which is co-created twice a month by Jeff Martin with Philbrook Museum and Scott Gregory with Public Radio Tulsa. This time around, MC looks back to May of 2018, when -- at Christie's in Hong Kong -- an 18th-century Chinese vase owned by Philbrook sold for $14.5 million. MC sets out to learn the full story behind this potentially controversial sale.

Photo courtesy of Christie's Hong Kong.

Museums acquire. They keep. They care for their objects. And it always causes a bit of a stir when a museum decides to sell something from its collection. In May of 2018, at Christie’s in Hong Kong, an 18th-century Chinese vase owned by Philbrook Museum of Art sold for $14.5 million. On this episode, we chat with Philbrook Director Scott Stulen to learn the full story behind this potentially controversial decision. 

On this edition of ST, we present another installment in our ongoing Museum Confidential podcast series, which is created twice a month by our own Scott Gregory and Philbrook Museum's Jeff Martin.

Edward Hopper Was Here

Nov 22, 2019

The name "Edward Hopper" is almost synonymous with loneliness. Hotels and motels play a central role in Hopper’s art. EDWARD HOPPER AND THE AMERICAN HOTEL recently opened at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It's the first in-depth look at this side of Hopper’s work and features a recreated room based on Hopper’s “Western Motel.” The space serves as a fully functional hotel room. On this episode of MC, we chat with the show’s curator, Dr. Leo Mazow.

Edward Hopper Was Here

Nov 22, 2019

The name "Edward Hopper" is almost synonymous with loneliness. Hotels and motels play a central role in Hopper’s art. EDWARD HOPPER AND THE AMERICAN HOTEL recently opened at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It's the first in-depth look at this side of Hopper’s work and features a recreated room based on Hopper’s “Western Motel.” The space serves as a fully functional hotel room. On this episode of MC, we chat with the show’s curator, Dr. Leo Mazow.

Building Stories

Nov 4, 2019

Sometimes a place becomes a museum by accident. This takes a combination of history, people, luck, notoriety, and (of course) art. One of the best examples of this rare occurrence is the legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York City. Acclaimed author Fiona Davis writes novels about famous New York buildings. She recently wrote one about the Chelsea Hotel, so we checked in with her to talk about it. 

Springsteen’s Stuff

Oct 20, 2019

Bruce Springsteen just turned 70. But The Boss shows no signs of slowing down. In his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, there’s a new exhibition at the Monmouth County Historical Association. It’s called, quite simply, SPRINGSTEEN: HIS HOMETOWN. On this episode, we're talking all things Bruce with Eileen Chapman, Director of The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University.

 

On this edition of ST, we present a new installmwent in our popular Museum Confidential podcast series (which just began its third season). This time out, we learn about a **new** book from Dr. Seuss, which is just out, and which is based on an unfinished collection of notes and sketches that the brillitant children's book author and illustrator (who died in 1991) left behind in a drawer. The book, called "The Horse Museum," is a love letter to museums as well as a primer on art history.

In 2013, while looking through a forgotten box of materials, Dr. Seuss’ widow, Audrey Geisel, discovered a folder containing a collection of sketches for a project called “The Horse Museum.” It was only about 80% finished and contained no completed artwork. Editors at Random House set out to complete the book and hired Australian illustrator Andrew Joyner to provide the art. A true love letter to museums and a wonderful primer on art history, “Dr. Seuss’ Horse Museum” was released just a few weeks ago.

Spoiler: Adam Lerner isn’t your average museum director. For the past 10 years, he ran the show at MCA Denver. His impact on that institution, on the Mile High City, and in many ways, on the museum industry itself, is undeniable. Adam recently stepped down to explore new adventures. Before he left, we were asked to come and do an exit interview of sorts. This is our conversation, recorded live in Denver. 

 

Wikipedia

During our summer break, we headed down to Atlanta to interview the hip-hop artist and activist, Killer Mike. He's known widely for his work with Run The Jewels, but this trip was to talk about museums. Specifically, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. A little over a year ago, Mike became a board member at The High. We wanted to check in and see how it's going. We also welcome High Museum Director Rand Suffolk. (Recorded at the studios of Atlanta public radio station WABE.)

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn all about the vitally important book/author/reading series known as Book Smart Tulsa, which was started ten years ago (pretty much single-handedly) by our guest, Jeff Martin. He worked for years as a local bookseller and is now the Communications Manager at Philbrook Museum of Art; he's also the co-creator of our popular Museum Confidential podcast here at Public Radio Tulsa.

Jason Lee

For our 2019 Summer Special, we chat at length with the photographer, actor, and legendary skateboarder, Jason Lee. He spent a good portion of 2018 road-tripping throughout Oklahoma while taking photographs (film only; no digital) for his first-ever solo museum show. That show is on view here in Tulsa at Philbrook Downtown through November 10th. 

StudioTulsa today offers another edition of the popular Museum Confidential podcast, which is co-created twice a month by our own Scott Gregory with Jeff Martin of Philbrook Museum of Art. Recently, Scott and Jeff trekked down to the Big Easy to offer a "live & onstage" presentation of Museum Confidential as part of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) annual meeting. Their guest was Don Wildman, host of the long-running Travel Channel show, "Mysteries at the Museum."

StudioTulsa today offers another installment in the ongoing Museum Confidential podcast series, which is a popular collaboration between Public Radio Tulsa and Philbrook Museum of Art. This particular podcast -- taped before a "live" audience back in January -- explores what it actually means to be a curator with Philbrook Museum of Art Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Gilcrease Museum Senior Curator Laura Fry. Also featuring special cameos by comedian Pete Holmes, "exit" signs, and the National Mustard Museum....

For our Season 2 finale, Museum Confidential headed down to the Big Easy for a live show to kick off the annual conference of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). We set up shop inside the beautiful and mouth-watering Southern Food and Beverage Museum for a chat with Don Wildman, host of the long-running Travel Channel show, "Mysteries at the Museum."

There are countless examples of writers using paintings or other visual art as inspiration to create entirely new work. Think "Girl with a Pearl Earring," "The Da Vinci Code," or even "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. This is what the award-winning writer Donna Baier Stein did when she decided to write a new collection of short stories based on lithographs by iconic American artist Thomas Hart Benton. The issues that Benton dealt with and depicted throughout the Great Depression and afterward still resonate today.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we offer another episode of our twice-monthly Museum Confidential podcast (which is co-created by Jeff Martin with Philbrook Museum of Art and our own Scott Gregory). This time out, MC speaks with Graham Boettcher, Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama. Boettcher has recently been looking at that museum's troubling Jim Crow-era policies, which occurred in the first dozen years of its existence.

What Is A Curator?

Apr 26, 2019
Public Radio Tulsa

In our first show recorded before a "live" audience, we explore what it means to be a curator with Philbrook Museum of Art Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Gilcrease Museum Senior Curator Laura Fry. The word is used all the time of late, but your grandmother probably went her whole life without claiming to have "curated" anything. And while so many people today claim to curate this or that, the ones who truly own the title are, of course, actual curators.

Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, Alabama)

We recently stumbled upon a fascinating blog post written last year by Graham Boettcher, Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama. The headline of the post reads, "DIRECTOR RECKONS WITH ART MUSEUM'S UGLY PAST." Boettcher's piece looks at the museum's troubling Jim Crow-era policies, which occurred in the first dozen years of its existence. We recently spoke with Boettcher about this, and much more.

Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, Alabama)

We recently stumbled upon a fascinating blog post written last year by Graham Boettcher, Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama. The headline of the post reads, "DIRECTOR RECKONS WITH ART MUSEUM'S UGLY PAST." Boettcher's piece looks at the museum's troubling Jim Crow-era policies, which occurred in the first dozen years of its existence. We recently spoke with Boettcher about this, and much more.

THE FIELD MUSEUM (CHICAGO)

On this edition of ST, we offer another installment in our ongoing, twice-monthly Museum Confidential podcast series. Question: What is a museums supposed to do when it has WAY too much stuff? Whereas you yourself might take a few carloads of personal surplus to Goodwill, or maybe just set up a yard sale, museums don't have that luxury. Sometimes they end up building costly expansions just to contain the overflow.

Museum Storage Wars

Mar 29, 2019
The Field Museum (Chicago)

Museums have a problem. Too much stuff. But whereas you might take a few carloads of personal surplus to Goodwill, or maybe just set up a yard sale, museums don't have that luxury. Sometimes they end up building costly expansions just to contain the overflow. New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin visited museums of various budgets and sizes to see just how big a problem museum storage has become. She's our guest.

On this edition of ST, we present another installment in our twice-monthly Museum Confidential podcast series, which is co-created by Jeff Martin of Philbrook Museum and our own Scott Gregory. This time around, MC is exploring art conservation. It's sort like of a magic trick. But when you look closer, art conservation isn't magical at all -- it's careful, delicate, methodical wortk. And it's about very talented people using skills and techniques passed down over generations alongside cutting-edge technology.

Ask the Experts 2.0

Mar 1, 2019

Time once again for our annual round-table with three experts from different facets of the art world. The roster includes Hrag Vartanian, editor of the popular arts and culture website, Hyperallergic; Philbrook Director Scott Stulen; and artist Sharon Louden, who is currently putting the finishing touches on her brand-new installation in the Philbrook Rotunda. Louden's installation will be on view for the rest of 2019.

"The key to the work up to this point" by Hilma af Klint (1907)

On this episode of ST, we offer another Museum Confidential podcast. (The podcast, now in its second season, is co-created twice a month by our own Scott Gregory and Jeff Martin of Philbrook Museum.) This time out, MC learns about a special, much-discussed exhibition now on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It's a remarkable series of works by the obscure yet visionary Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). The exhibit is titled "Paintings for the Future" and closes April 23rd.

Wikipedia

Less than 20 miles from Washington, DC, there's a place called Glenstone. It was founded by Mitch and Emily Rales and opened in 2006. Last fall, Glenstone took a big leap forward. But what, exactly, is Glenstone? It's an art museum, with 200+ acres of grounds. It's private. It's free. Kids and chewing gum aren't allowed, nor are taking pictures or using cell phones. What is Glenstone, as a museum, trying to do? Emily Rales, who also serves as director and chief curator of Glenstone, tells us all about it.

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