2022 marks the Broad Art Museum’s 10th anniversary! To celebrate, we sat down with lead museum curator Steven Bridges to discuss what he does for work and what to check out during the festivities!
Question: What does a day in your job look like?
Answer: It can change very drastically day to day. Typically, a day involves quite a lot of meetings, emailing, and a lot of administrative work. My position is to lead the curatorial team in developing, conceptualizing and implementing the exhibition program at the museum. That involves all different kinds of exhibitions from solo exhibitions of individual artists to working with a collection to developing group shows, all different kinds of projects.
Question: What are the current exhibits on display for the anniversary?
History Told Slant:
We are leading this 2022 anniversary year with a focus on our collection. The collection has been around much longer than the museum itself. Formerly it was a part of the Kresge Art Museum and the collection started even before then. The approach within the exhibition is to confront and address that collections of art along with many other institutions were founded and built in such a way that have privileged white male artists and those perspectives and voices. A lot of the work that we are doing in the museum presently is confronting and trying to change those narratives.
We have a large commission from the artist Beverly Fishman who is a Michigan native and formerly showed with the museum in 2013. She has two works in the museum collection and we have commissioned two new works that are on view. We are really celebrating her and her work.
Art Along the River, Grand:
We also have an exhibition that addresses public art both here at the university and also pointing to all the great things that exist within our communities in the Greater Lansing Region.
Kahlo without Borders:
Finally, we also have an exhibition that looks at Frida Khalo and her relationship with her doctors. It is a very intimate portrait of the artist that offers a lot of new perspective of who she was and her interpersonal relationships and how that influenced her and her work.
Question: What is the legacy of the Broad that you and your team are highlighting during this celebration?
Answer: These anniversaries are a great time to reflect on the past ten years. There have been many successes and also many challenges. These moments offer the opportunity to look back, to learn, to celebrate the successes, but also think about, what do the next ten years look like? Where do we go from this moment? What are we excited to build on? In terms of the life of museums, ten years is actually pretty young. The legacy has a lot to do with celebrating the history of art and you see that in these collections.
Question: What do you say to members of the MSU community who have not visited the museum or believe they won’t enjoy it?
Answer: I fully recognize that not everything is for everyone and that is why, with the range of exhibitions we have on view currently, if you don’t like one thing, hopefully there is something else for you to see. There’s options there. At any given time in the museum, there are so many things to take in, to explore, and to push yourself a little bit. If you are unsure, but you are curious about the museum, come inside and explore it for yourself! You might be surprised by what is inside.
Question: Who is the audience for the Broad Art Museum and the 10th anniversary celebration?
Answer: It is very important to me that faculty, researchers, staff and students of the university really know that we are here for them. We are always free and open to the public and whether you come to see the exhibitions or to visit the café and work in the beautiful environment and architecture, we love to have you here.
The Broad Art Museum turns 10 years old in November, so the exhibitions and celebrations to commemorate the birthday are changing and expanding all year long! Starting in September, the museum will add a new exhibition created to feature the architect of the unique building that catches the attention of so many on campus, designed by Zaha Hadid. Visit the Broad Art Museum’s website for more information on events and exhibitions all through 2022!