Dr. Briley Rasmussen, the Director of Graduate Studies for Museum Studies in the UF School of Art + Art History, was recently published as a contributor to A Companion to Modern Art, edited by Pam Meecham. Her chapter, titled "MoMA and the Modern Child: The Critical Role of Education Programming in MoMA’s Modernism" looks at how the Museum of Modern Art in its early history (1930s - 1960s) positioned the idea of the "modern child" as a means to engage with modern art.
Rasmussen's essay analyzes the museum as it takes an activist role in trying to foster creativity in society through education, as they believed that creativity would make society better overall. Rasmussen delves into the museum's robust education program in the 1930s through the 1960s, which focused on art-making. One example of this was MoMA's "young people's gallery" situated directly across from the museum's regular collections, which is still considered a progressive approach to presenting art created by young people in the museum.
Rasmussen's chapter also discusses an event in which first lady Jaqueline Kennedy gifted a traveling exhibit by the MoMA "as a gift to the children of India" during a diplomatic visit to India in the 1960s. Rasmussen analyzes the rhetoric surrounding children's art-making and modern art as tied to ideas of the modernization of the newly-democratized India.
A Companion to Modern Art is a collection of new international essays that attempt to create a canonical history of modern art. The book includes essays by senior scholars, as well as newly-emerging scholars in the field.
"It really is an honor to be included in this collection of essays," Rasmussen said.
More information about A Companion to Modern Art can be found here.