The Getty Foundation announced the launch of The Paper Project: Prints and Drawings Curatorship in the 21st Century, a new initiative to strengthen curatorial practice in the graphic arts field internationally. The launch includes the announcement of six inaugural grants awarded to the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford; the British Museum in London; the Courtauld Gallery in London; the Morgan Library & Museum in New York; the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam; and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.
Information from the Getty Foundation, 22 May 2018
“The Paper Project is a response to the need for more training and professional development opportunities to serve a rising generation of curators of prints and drawings,” says Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. “Assisting curators at early points in their careers will help ensure that museum departments of prints and drawings continue to have strong leadership and independent voices well into the future. The museums involved in these inaugural projects are widely recognized for their excellent collections, influential scholarship, and commitment to training.”
While preparing this initiative, the Getty Foundation consulted broadly with curators internationally who voiced concerns over the steady erosion of the formal and informal training practices that have historically sustained the prints and drawings field. As a result, leading museums face a shortage of well-qualified specialists ready to move into more senior curatorial positions. Curators entering the field today must command a wide variety of skills, ranging from traditional approaches to the object, such as connoisseurship, to newer proficiencies such as audience engagement, both in the galleries and online. Yet the opportunities for curators to develop and hone these skills are limited.
To address these issues, The Paper Project grants will support traveling seminars for early and mid-career curators of drawings and prints; curatorial fellowships; professional workshops and symposia; collection-based research projects that present significant training opportunities for young professionals; and exhibitions and publishing projects led by emerging leaders in the field of prints and drawings.
“Museums are changing rapidly in the 21st century, as are the demands on curators,” says Heather MacDonald, senior program officer at the Getty Foundation. “The Paper Project supports training and professional development designed by and for prints and drawings specialists, with an aim of not only preserving the skills that have long been at the center of their discipline, but also responding to the present-day and emerging needs of museums.”
See this page on the Getty’s website for specific descriptions of each grant.