Conversations

These periodic notes and discussions between students and researchers will serve as an ongoing update of the status of important discoveries.

Conference video up

Videos of the Collaborative Futures Conference are now available on our website.

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Last comment on Monday, May 15, 2017 - 8:01pm by jh32

Catalogue up; Collaborative Futures conference and first Observation posting a week away!

With the Collaborative Futures conference a week away, the CAC provenance catalogue is up and running and the first Observation will post next week.  

The Catalogue includes a filterable and continually updated list of objects that participating CAC students and researches have studied. Eventually, the whole collection—nearly 600 objects from the Ancient Mediterranean at the Menil—will be included. Some information will remain incomplete, but some will be updated as further research allows for better knowledge. Please check to see what has changed.

The Collaborative Futures conference presents the crucial first outcomes of theCAC.  Over the past year, scholars from across the United States have been granted open access to the Menil’s object records and its collection.  They have traced the biographies, histories and significances of works in the collection and uncovered new information while collaborating closely with the Menil staff, the co-directors and our students.  During the three days of this conference, these scholars will present their findings and discuss them with the audience and with each other. We look forward to hearing their conclusions and exploring how open collaboration between museums and scholars can shed new light on the collection and on the challenges that face art historians, archaeologists and museum professionals in a new era of cultural stewardship.  

During the conference we will post the first item to our Observations.  It is a report on the the Antiquities Provenance Project at the J. Paul Getty Museum, written by David Saunders, Judith Barr and Nicole Budrovich, from the Department of Antiquities.  Budrovich will present on the project at the Collaborative Futures conference, and we will post their contribution on the website simultaneously.  

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Last comment on Monday, October 10, 2016 - 10:01am by jh32

Scholars visit Menil Collection to work with students and prepare for Collaborative Futures conference

Beginning in March, scholar collaborators with the CAC have been working with objects and records at the Menil.  They have helped students with their research and explored the archives in preparation for a national conference and workshop on museum collections, object stewardship, provenance and cultural heritage.  Some of their work will appear in the Observations section of the site in the coming months, and they will all return to Houston in the fall for the Collaborative Futures conference.  In the meantime, we thought we'd share a few photos.


Objects conservator, Kari Dodson, Johns Hopkins University professor, Betsy Bryan, and Bryn Mawr student, Lara Fields, discuss scientific analyses that may be performed on an Egyptian relief.


Lara Fields and University of Missouri professor, Susan Langdon, consider a small bronze horse figurine and the light it may shed on the history of the Menil Collection.


MFA curator, Phoebe Segal, carefully demonstrates the proper use of an Attic kylix.

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Last comment on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 11:22am by jh32

Students, professors, curators and staff work together in the first annual course on provenance and cultural heritage.

For the past semester, students have participated in the first annual Rice course on Advanced Study in Museums and Heritage. Over the course of the semester, they learn about the ethical and legal complexities of cultural heritage, preservation and provenance.  They read about why the subject matters, how it is being discussed in the fields of archaeology and museums and in international collaborations, and they become acquainted with the tools of provenance investigation.  During the second half of the course, each student chooses an object from the Menil's collection of arts from the ancient Mediterranean, and they dig through registrar files, books, sales catalogues, and online databases to uncover the history--the biography of the work.  In a few weeks, students will complete their research, present it to Profs. Hopkins and Costello and to the Menil for inclusion in the CAC catalogue and in the files of the Menil Collection.  

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Last comment on Monday, April 11, 2016 - 8:14am by jh32