David Winton Bell Gallery

Event Details

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Letter As Form: Critique, Demand, and Accountability |


This conversation convenes a cross generational group of curatorial arts workers to discuss the many letters written by museum staff in the wake of the recent uprisings and increasing visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement. Indira A. Abiskaroon, Dr. Kelli Morgan, and Tausif Noor have worked individually and collectively on statements directed at leadership, boards, and various institutional publics.

Though this program is rooted in the years of work each participant has done to promote a more equitable and just museum culture, the panel was inspired by a letter moderator Anni Pullagura drafted with Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Curator Michelle Millar Fisher, Tufts University Art Galleries Curator Abigail Satinsky, and artist Anthony Romero. Titled Boston Arts for Black Lives, the letter, in a summer of institutional rhetoric, thoroughly yet pithily captured the intricacies of what a museum that is truly for Black lives—and Indigenous lives and the lives of people of color—needs to address to, as the letter aptly frames, remake itself.

Indira A. Abiskaroon is a New York-based art historian and member of A Better Guggenheim. Her research focuses on classical reception in modern and contemporary art and, more recently, the function of mythology in art of the Caribbean and its diaspora. She holds a BA in Art History, Ancient Greek and Latin, and a Special Honors Curriculum from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and an MA in the History of Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Dr. Kelli Morgan was recently associate curator of American art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries at Newfields. She specializes in American art and visual culture with a scholarly commitment to the investigation of race within that field. Prior to her role at the IMA, Dr. Morgan held positions at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 2014, she was awarded a dissertation fellowship by the Ford Foundation. She was also named the Curatorial Fellow of African American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art and became the inaugural recipient of the Winston & Carolyn Lowe Curatorial Fellowship for Diversity in the Fine Arts at PAFA in 2016. She earned a PhD in Afro-American studies and a graduate certificate in public history–museum studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Morgan served as an Exhibitions & Public Interpretation panelist at the Center in 2019.

Tausif Noor is a critic, curator, and graduate student in the Department of History of Art at UC Berkeley, where he studies modern and contemporary art with a focus on South Asia. His criticism and essays can be found in Artforumfrieze, ArtAsiaPacific, among other publications, and in catalogues for the India Habitat Centre and Karma Gallery in New York. He has curated exhibitions at various artist-run spaces in Philadelphia and previously worked at the Whitney Museum, the Imperial War Museum in London, and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Fellow from 2017-20.

Anni Pullagura, a PhD candidate in the Department of American Studies and an MA candidate in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Brown, will moderate the discussion.


Program will be released HERE on November 24th at 6 pm