Contemporary Art History: Museums and Artistic Creation

Contemporary art is art occurring in the present time. But when is contemporary art no longer contemporary? Art made five years ago? Ten years ago? 30 years ago? Engage with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University’s contemporary art collection. Learn about the diverse materials, techniques, subjects and concerns incorporated by artists in contemporary art production as you discover the many examples of artwork all around Duke’s campus! Nasher Museum of Art is notable for its longstanding commitment to collecting and preserving the art of global artists who have been historically underrepresented or ignored by the art world.

Like most collecting museums, the Nasher’s holdings of art far exceed the available gallery space. Explore behind the scenes with an exclusive trip to the museum’s study storage and meet with the museum’s registrars. Learn directly from those responsible for managing an art collection. Analyze the curatorial decisions for selecting the art on view. Select a piece of artwork in storage that you think should be in the galleries. Take note of the title, date, and artist so that you can find it in Nasher’s e-museum, which is an online database. Plan and create an exhibition for display as a culminating project.

Speak with a member of the Nasher’s education department and learn how the Nasher values the insights and voices of youth, like yourself, with the Nasher Teen Council and the Nasher MUSE (Museum Undergraduate Student Exec) Student Board. Venture alongside your peers to experience the art and architecture located around Duke’s campus. Hear from contemporary artists about their art practices. Join us to discover, question, and appreciate Contemporary Art History!