June 20, 2024

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Denver Art Museum reckons with how it curates art amid scrutiny

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JR Henneman has been trying to square something for a significant part of her career as an art curator.

She grew up on a farm and ranch in north-central Montana, then lived and studied abroad with an academic focus on 19th-century European and American art. 

“When I started my position at the Denver Art Museum in 2016, I worked to familiarize myself with its Western American art collection. And much of what I saw looked exotic in a way that had nothing to do with my lived experience of the West,” said Henneman, now director and curator of the museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art.

The collection brought to mind a troubling aspect of the art she studied in Europe, particularly French Orientalism from the 1800s,…

Stephanie Wolf

2023-05-14 04:28:00

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