Mathers Museum of World Cultures to present art displays and discussions

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures will host a series of events, including art collection discussions and displays, starting today and continuing through June 17.

“Indonesian Puppets”

4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday

Jennifer Goodlander, MMWC faculty curator and assistant professor in the IU Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance, will present and talk about the Indonesian puppets from the Mathers Museum’s collection. The exhibit, focusing on Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese ways of life, examines puppets as a way to better understand the active peoples and places of Indonesia, according to the MMWC website.

“Museums at the ?Crossroads”

10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday

Steven Lubar, former curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and professor in the departments of American Studies and History at Brown University, plans to distinguish the museum from other venues of cultural research by talking about the modes of thought, practice and reception, according to the museum’s website. This free public lecture is part of “Museums at the Crossroads: Local Encounters, Global Knowledge,” a new international museum institute that aims to bring together scholars of social and cultural theory and museum practice with museum professionals and IU scholars, graduate students and staff.

“Cultural Crossroads: World Cultures in ?Transition”

10 to 11:30 a.m. May 15

Michael Brown, the president of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, N.M., will “explore globalization and localization and their implications for understanding the relation and movement of states, people and cultures across space,” according to the museum’s website. This free public lecture, presented as part of “Museums at the Crossroads: Local Encounters, Global Knowledge,” is funded by IU’s College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Global and International Studies. Brown wrote many scholarly essays as well as six books, including “Who Owns Native Culture?” and “Upriver: The Turbulent Life and Times of an Amazonian People.”

“Disciplinary Crossroads: Scholarly Method and the Evolving Sociology of Knowledge”

10 to 11:30 a.m. May 16

In order to help define museums that offer advantages and disadvantages in efforts to arrive at a renewed understanding of global cultures, Stephan Fuchs, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, will examine the evolution, interrelation and current state of history, anthropology, folklore, natural science and art disciplines in his discussion, according to the museum’s website. Presented as part of “Museums at the Crossroads: Local Encounters, Global Knowledge,” this is a free and public lecture.

“Artifactual Crossroads: Real Meets Virtual"

10 to 11:30 a.m. May 17

Haidy Geismar, lecturer in the Digital Anthropology program at University College London, will address the revolution in information from its origins in print and the early electronic age through today’s hypermedia. Geismar will also discuss the effect of changing modes of display and dissemination, according to the museum’s website.

“Memory Paintings and Death Camps: Gustav Potthoff’s Creative-Aging Practice” 

4:30 p.m. June 17

Gustav Potthoff paints to keep the memory of his fellow prisoners of war who built the Bridge over the River Kwai and the Hellfire Pass during World War II alive. Concerned that the 16,000 who died might be forgotten, the artist paints to tell people his story and find peace among the horrors of his wartime memories. Jon Kay, Traditional Arts Indiana director of the MMWC, will share the story of Potthoff and explore his life-review practice as a strategy for creative aging for a special program, according to the museum’s website. It is free and open to the public.

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