This week on “Through the Gates,” host Jim Shanahan welcomes David Brenneman, director of the Indiana University Art Museum. Brenneman came to IU last summer after two decades at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. He holds a Ph.D. in art history from Brown University.
Brenneman is noted for his work to make art more accessible to people of all kinds. At the High, Brenneman strengthened the collection of works by women, including individual works by Mary Cassatt and Julie Mehretu, among many others.
“Museums need to be a part of their community, and reflect and lead the diversity and ideals of the community they serve,” Brenneman said. “Bloomington attracts faculty and students from around the world. The IU Art Museum’s collection is special because it contains masterpieces from throughout human history and from all corners of the earth — and just about everybody’s background is reflected.”
In this interview, Shanahan will ask Brenneman about the challenges of taking over a university museum, the unique features of the IU Art Museum collection, and how the museum will change over the coming years. Brenneman will also speak to the rigors of piloting a museum in the 21st century and how the digital age can help, rather than hinder, the world of art.
IU news highlights this week:
- Indiana University distinguished professor of music and jazz legend David Baker has died at the age of 84. Baker, who earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from IU, founded the school’s Jazz Studies program and served as its chair from 1968 to 2013. Baker, a highly decorated music educator, composer and performer, received the IU President’s Medal for Excellence in 2012. Baker has more than two thousand original compositions to his credit.
- IU’s Cognitive Science Program has been awarded a $3.2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to study human cognitive evolution. The Cognitive Science Program will utilize the grant in a joint project with the Stone Age Institute to examine and explore evidence for human brain expansion.
- The IU Foundation has announced plans for the first ever IU Day, a 24-hour worldwide celebration of engagement, university pride and giving. The event begins at midnight on April 12 and continues throughout the day. Notable IU alumni will participate, including former IU basketball player Victor Oladipo, ESPN anchor sage Steele, and reality TV star Ben Higgins.
- The IU School of Public Health-Bloomington will host and sponsor the Indiana Public Health Week Conference this year. The daylong conference will take place April 7 at the Indiana Memorial Union.
- Finally, eight IU researchers have been awarded a total of $6.27 million to advance research in several areas. Their projects include the study of affordable drug development, global climate change, and resilience in the face of terror attacks and natural disasters.
IU events highlights this week:
- The second in a campus-wide series of conversations on inclusion will take place on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Maurer School of Law. Panelists will speak on the topic of “Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion,” followed by an audience Q-and-A. Audience members who wish to engage in further discussion will then be invited to join one of several facilitated breakout sessions.
- Culture of Care takes center stage at IU Bloomington this week. Events running Monday through Friday will encourage Hoosier-to-Hoosier care in the areas of sexual well-being, drug and alcohol awareness, mental health, and respect.
- IU welcomes Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri to campus on Monday, April 4. Lahiri’s books highlight and explore the experiences of immigrants throughout the world. She will speak at the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union starting at 4 p.m.
- A half-day conference will bring together students, staff and faculty from across IU campuses to build on connections, conversations and committed action related to research, teaching, learning and life skills in diversity. “Productive Differences: Reaching Across Divides” will take place from noon to 6:30 p.m. April 6 at the Indiana Memorial Union and is free to attend.
- The IU Cinema will screen “Now En Español” on Friday, April 8 at 9 a.m. The film follows five Latina actresses who dubbed episodes of “Desperate Housewives” for Spanish speaking audiences. Director Andrea Meller is scheduled to be present.
- Finally, IU Opera’s production of “Oklahoma” begins its five show run on Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. Performances are also scheduled for April 9, 10, 15, and 16.
News and events for this episode will be read by Luqmann Ruth, of Chicago, a senior recording arts major in the Jacobs School of Music and composer of the music for this podcast.
Through the Gates: IU This Week is a collaboration of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, The Media School in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the IU Newsroom.