Two recent back-to-back visits to major exhibitions in New York City – Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 at MoMA and Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity at the Met – provoked some observations about curatorial trends in major art museums. Although the two exhibitions were developed in different institutional contexts, and focused on different artistic themes and time periods, they had telling similarities in their display and interpretation, among them:
- an emphasis on the social networks behind the art;
- interdisciplinary and cross-media perspectives;
- the inclusion of a number of women artists;
- equal attention to lesser known images or objects and widely recognized pieces; and
- extensive interpretive programming.