Join the Lunder Institute @ the Addison Gallery



Join the Addison Gallery of American Art of American Art and the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art for Defining American Art: Then and Now the fourth Lunder Institute @ conversation of 2024.

The Addison’s founding history provides a snapshot into the state—and stakes—of American art in the 1920s and 30s. Defining American Art: Then and Now is a two-part symposium that takes the Addison’s own formation as a case study to track evolving notions of American art over the last century, with special attention to questions of citizenship and national identity as they inform the field today.

This program is part of Lunder Institute@, co-presented by the Lunder Institute for American Art, an initiative of the Colby Museum of Art.

Lunder Institute@ brings together artists and leaders of prominent American art museums to look critically at American art, its history, its future, and its evolution, and to engage publicly with a single question: What is the state of American art?

Defining American Art: Then and Now

Sunday, April 7, 2024,

Symposium: 12:30–4:30 pm
Kemper Auditorium

Reception: 4:30–5:30 pm
Addison Gallery of American Art

Free and open to all. Please register here.

Panel 1:

The first panel takes up questions prompted by the Addison’s founding collection (a selection of which will be on view in an accompanying exhibition) and terms of trust. In particular, the panel will reflect on the specification that only works of art “produced by a native-born or naturalized citizen of the United States” can be acquired for the collection: What was the context of and intention behind this definition of American art? How was citizenship defined in this moment, and who was excluded? What exceptions were or have been made to this provision, and why? What is the relationship between nationality, national identity, and American art?


Hardeep Dhillon, Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Andrew McClellan, Professor, History of Art and Architecture, Tufts University
Gordon Wilkins, Robert M. Walker Curator of American Art, Addison Gallery of American Art

Panel 2:

The second panel explores issues around the definition of American art in our present moment. How have definitions of American art changed over the past century, and what factors have impacted that notion over time? Data collected from a survey of American art museum collection practices will reveal trends in how institutions delimit the category of “American art,” and panelists will probe the challenges, considerations, and complexities of defining—and exhibiting—American art today.


Miguel Luciano, Artist
Stephanie Sparling Williams, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum
Marina Tyquiengco, Ellyn McColgan Associate Curator of Native American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Rachel Vogel, Assistant Curator, Addison Gallery of American Art

Leading up to the program, Phillips Academy students in a variety of courses will explore and produce work centered around the key themes of the symposium, to be shared during intermission. A reception in the Addison Gallery will follow the symposium.

IMAGE: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Drive-Thru, 2002