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Museums and galleries across the world are facing numerous financial, ethical and practical challenges, and curators and collection managers are expected to use these opportunities to transform and adapt permanent collections and exhibition displays in order to cater to diverse audiences. The study of cross-cultural interactions during the so-called Renaissance period has led to the re-telling of narratives from more inclusive viewpoints by scholars and curators alike. By bringing stories of global encounters into the foreground, as well as analysing the circumstances that led to the acquisition of Renaissance objects, curators can engage in a more meaningful way with non-traditional audiences and local communities, while simultaneously emphasising the relevance of Renaissance collections in today’s world.

Our panel session will explore how curators can navigate the challenges of current curatorial practice, and how to facilitate meaningful interactions between Renaissance objects and audiences. We welcome proposals for papers that share examples of museum work that opens Renaissance collections to a wider public. We invite 15-minute papers that explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Contemporary responses to Renaissance objects
Decolonising/Decentering Renaissance collections (provenance and collecting history)
Community engagement projects
Educational programmes
Use of modern technologies such as VR, AR, AI, immersive experiences, video games
Foregrounding transcultural and transhistorical narratives

This session seeks to provide a platform to exchange ideas on how to reinterpret Renaissance collections. It also offers an opportunity for speakers to share personal experiences and insights into audience engagement.

Field(s) of Study:
Time Period: Early Modern (1450-1800)
Cultural Spheres: Renaissance
Theory / Practice: Curatorial Studies
Business of Art: Museum Practice
Field: Art History

Talitha Maria G. Schepers, Harvard Art Museums and Serenella Sessini, Victoria & Albert Museum

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