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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
440.775.8665

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Tuesday — Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday — Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday Closed

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The Allen presents changing exhibitions along with engaging guest speakers and public programs.

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Art at the AMAM

The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.

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DIS/POSSESSION

September 15, 2021 - August 7, 2022
In Northwest Ambulatory

DIS/POSSESSION

September 15, 2021 - August 7, 2022
In Northwest Ambulatory

Many museums have begun to write and display statements that acknowledge the Indigenous communities past and present that have lived on and stewarded the natural resources of land now occupied by the institution. But how can—and should—the act of writing such a statement transform the museum?

Over the course of the 2021-22 academic year, this experimental installation and series of related programs and conversations will inform the writing of a land acknowledgement for the AMAM. In addition to examining the history of the land that we now call Oberlin, we will consider the ways that both museums and works of art are complicit in histories of dispossession. As the title suggests, the project invites visitors as well as museum staff to consider how dispossession and possession are inextricably linked: when one person or institution possesses something, someone else is dispossessed.

DIS/POSSESSION will reveal how images are tools of colonization that create and reinforce dominant white historical narratives. In fall 2021, the installation and related programs will explore the role that canonical American art has played in the erasure of Indigenous peoples and their stories. In spring 2022, we will consider the theme more broadly, asking how the AMAM has been able to grow and thrive as a direct result of global histories of dispossession.

Organized by

Alexandra Letvin

Assistant Curator of European and American Art

Hannah Wirta Kinney

Assistant Curator of Academic Programs

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