In this bonus episode, Ann and Ben talk about how they got into this art thing in the first place. Seems it helped to have artists in the family.
In episode 105, Ann and Ben talk about the Western art-historical canon and recent, important efforts to redefine it, to break it apart, to destroy it. How can museums embrace multiple voices and points of view? What happens to the collections? How do we accomplish such a gargantuan task?
After the debut of Platemark, the most pressing listener questions had to do with the positionality statement. That’s where Shafer and Levy introduce themselves by clarifying their gender, sexuality, and race (Shafer: cis-het white woman, pronouns used are she/her; Levy: cis-het white man, pronouns used are he/him). This bonus episode tackles the issue of positionality as well as the land acknowledgments (Shafer: Baltimore is on the land of the Piscataway Conoy people; Levy: Cleveland is on the ancestral land of the Erie people). There is a lot to unpack and it is uncomfortable. But that is the point.
Your questions are welcome. Leave them in the comments below.
In episode 104, Ann and Ben continue their conversation about value but turn toward artistic value rather than monetary value. Both Ann and Ben describe their own systems for evaluating a work of art. Ben’s system centers on reverse engineering a work and looking at the decisions made at each step. Ann’s system is a long and wide-ranging list of questions that get filed into emotional impact and visual impact. All of which is to say, there is no right or wrong way to approach a work of art.
In episode 103, Ann and Ben take a deep dive into value, beginning with market value. How is it established, who decides what the value of a work should be, how value is arrived at, and how it’s a totally subjective idea.
In episode 102, Ann is in the hot seat as Ben asks her about her beginnings as a curator from an internship at the Whitney Museum of American Art during college, to graduate school at Williams College, to the prints and drawings department at the National Gallery of Art, and to the prints, drawings, and photographs department at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). Ann talks about how it happened, highlights along the way, and how much it meant to her. Interwoven is a love letter to the many students that passed through the BMA’s studyroom, the exhibitions that were most meaningful, and the objects she acquired for the BMA’s collection.
In episode 101, Ann and Ben talk about critiques and studio visits, focusing on a program they developed in partnership with the printmaking department at the Maryland Institute College of Art. At the start of the senior year, Ann and Ben held critiques with MICA printmakers as they embarked on their final theses, which culminate with end-of-the-year exhibitions. Following those initial visits to the students’ studios, Ann and Ben welcomed students to the Baltimore Museum of Art’s print studyroom and pulled out objects from the permanent collection that they deemed germane to the artists’ work. These individual second visits enabled further conversation about the direction of the seniors’ thesis work and helped (we hoped) to energize them about new ideas and risks. Lastly, Ann and Ben returned to MICA near the end of the year to have a final look at the work produced. This was really for Ann and Ben to see how the work had developed and to evaluate how impactful they had been.
This episode also acts as Ben’s origin story since he is a studio art graduate of MICA’s printmaking department. He brought his technical know-how to the BMA’s department of prints, drawings, and photographs in an invaluable way.
In the first, short episode, Ann and Ben introduce listeners to Platemark Season One. Over eight episodes they discuss all manner of topics relating to museums and curators, critiques and studio visits, market value and conceptual value, redefining the Western art historical canon and decolonization, and prints and printmaking.
The main goal of the podcast is to demystify the role of the curator and the museum, and to sing the praises of prints and printmaking.