For its second installment in the Fall 2021 Puppet Forum series, and in conjunction with the Puppetry’s Racial Reckoning exhibit, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Exhibiting Racism in Museums” with Professor William F. Condee and the Schroeder Cherry Museum puppeteer and educator on Thursday, October 14 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Zoom (registration required: us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MY1VOc-gQoOzaXYOTgGWvw) and Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitut/) and will be available later on Facebook and the Ballard Institute’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg).
The exhibition The Racial Calculation of the Puppet at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (closing October 30) raises important questions about the exhibition of explicitly or implicitly racist objects. Is it fair to give such objects a place in a museum? How to contextualize and present the objects and generate productive and meaningful conversations from the exhibition? Dr William F. Condee, who writes on puppets representing minorities and foreigners in five major collections in Germany, and Dr Schroeder Cherry, puppeteer and curator at the James E. Lewis Museum of Arts, who have extensive experience, answer to these questions. discuss racism in the context of museums with visitors to the exhibit. This forum will be an opportunity to reflect on the ethics and methods of conserving racist objects and on how to broaden perspectives on the roles of museums in relation to anti-racism. This forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Institute for Human Rights.
Originally from Washington, DC, Schroeder Cherry, Ed.D. is now a Maryland-based artist and 2019 Sondheim competition finalist who captures everyday scenes from African diaspora life. He received a BA in Painting and Puppetry from the University of Michigan; a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University; and a doctorate in museum education from Columbia University. His works are in private and public collections across the United States. In 2020, he received the Artists’ Travel Award from the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City for his research in Bahia, Brazil. In 2021, he received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Cherry’s museum career spans over thirty years, with positions held at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum in Washington, DC; Studio Museum in Harlem; J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu; the Baltimore Art Museum; and the Maryland Historical Society. He served eight years at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, first as Deputy Director of Museums, then as Advisor to the Director. He was recently appointed curator at the James E. Lewis Museum, Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr William Condée (J. Richard hamilton emeritus professor of the humanities, Ohio University) is the author of Coal and culture: the opera of the Appalachians (Ohio, 2005) and Theatrical Space: A Guide for Directors and Designers (Scarecrow, 1995). His articles on Southeast Asian puppets have been published in International Puppets, Studies in Theater and Performance and Asian Journal of University Education. Articles on other topics have appeared in Theater survey, Theater themes, and Annual Theater. He is co-author of works (with Thomas Irmer) on German theater in A history of German theater (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Theater review. His most recent work on non-material performance appeared in Imagined theaters and TDR: Dramatic Criticism, co-authored with Barry Rountree. Condee was visiting professor Kohei Miura in Chubu, Japan; a Senior Fulbright Specialist at the University of Leipzig and the University of Malaysia; and lectured at universities such as East China Normal, Tsinghua, Nanjing, Dankook and Hindu Dharma Institute (Bali).