The first of the department’s two Spring 2014 speakers in the Endowed Howorth Art Lecture series was Tom Rankin, whose public lecture on Feb. 18 was entitled “Cruel Radiance: Photography and the Documentary Imagination.” Mr. Rankin is currently director of the Master of Fine Arts program in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University and recently retired director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. He was included in the list of “100 Most Important People in Photography” by American Photo Magazine in 2005, and his photographs have been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries, including the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Author of a wide range of books and articles, he received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography for Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (1993). He is currently completing Truths of the Matter: Traditions in Documentary Arts, an anthology of primary writings drawn from the last century and a half. A native of Kentucky, Mr. Rankin holds an M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an M.F.A. in Photography from Georgia State University. For more on Tom Rankin, check out this article in the Jackson Free Press.
The second Howorth speaker is Millsaps alumna Holly Harmon, whose lecture on March 27 at 4:30 in AC 215 is entitled “Making Museums Meaningful: Visitor-Centered Interpretation at the Detroit Institute of Arts.” The Detroit museum has been much in the news recently because of the city’s bankruptcy, but Holly will focus on the innovative interpretation strategies that have received a great deal of attention. Holly graduated from Millsaps College in 2008 with a concentration in Museum Studies and was accepted the following summer into the highly competitive Summer Institute for Art Museum Studies (SIAMS) at Smith College. She received her M.A. in Art History from Syracuse University in 2010, with a thesis on contemporary artist Jackie Winsor, forwhich she received a Master’s Prize for outstanding graduate work. After graduating from Syracuse she interned at various museums in Washington, DC, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum ofWomen in the Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. These invaluable learning experiences led her to pursue work in museum interpretation, beginning as an Interpretive Specialist at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2011. There, she worked closely with curators to conceptualize and mount exhibitions in a manner that is accessible and relevant to the Detroit community. Most recently, Holly accepted the position of Associate Manager of Interpretive Materials at theBrooklyn Museum in November 2013 where she manages all written interpretation for special exhibitions and the permanent collection in order to present a consistent voice across the museum.
The director of Millsaps’ Lewis Art Gallery, daniel johnson, has been involved in an exciting community arts project this spring at the Mississippi Museum of Art, as publicized in the Jackson Free Press here.