JCA Signature Series: Museums Are Not Neutral

September 30, 2020 @ 7:30pm

Museums Are Not Neutral is a global-advocacy initiative to expose the myth of museum neutrality and demand equity-based transformation across institutions. This webinar aims to critically examine challenges and proactively propose strategies for museums today to bring people together and call for change. Acknowledging that museums are not neutral is the first meaningful step to reject a status quo system that perpetuates oppression, racism, injustice, and colonialism, so we can subsequently improve the museum field.

Our guest panelists are Kelli Morgan, former Curator of American Art at the IMA/Newfields, and La Tanya Autry, Gund Curatorial Fellow, Cleveland moCa; the evening’s presentation will be moderated by Peter Wang, Lecturer of Art History at Butler University.



As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, LaTanya S. Autry centers Black liberation and decolonization in her work. In addition to co-creating The Art of Black Dissent, an interactive program that both promotes public discussion about the Black liberation struggle and engenders fighting antiBlackness through the collective imagining of public art interventions, she co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowd-sourced bibliography.

 LaTanya has curated exhibitions and organized programs at moCa Cleveland, Yale University Art Gallery, Artspace New Haven, and other institutions. Through her graduate studies at the University of Delaware, where she is completing her Ph.D. in art history, LaTanya has developed expertise in the art of the United States, photography, and museums. Her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America, which analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment, concentrates on the interplay of race, representation, memory, and public space.


Originally from Detroit, MI., Dr. Kelli Morgan is a curator, author, educator, and social justice activist. She earned her doctorate in Afro-American Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Public History – Museum Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass).

Specializing in critical-race curatorial analyses, her interdisciplinary research focuses on Black women’s visual narratives. Most recently, her work has demonstrated how traditional art history and museum practice uphold white supremacy and maintain white cultural hegemony. She’s held curatorial positions at the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields where she recontextualized American collections to illuminate systemic racism and structural inequities to encourage responsible approaches to museum DEI initiatives.

Currently, Dr. Morgan is an independent curator and art consultant.



We acknowledge that we gather here at Butler University on the traditional land of indigenous peoples including the Potawatomi, Miami, Delaware, and Shawnee. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the indigenous peoples past and present who have stewarded it throughout the generations. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we inhabit, while also acknowledging that some were brought to this land not by choice.


The Jordan College of the Arts would like to thank Dr. Marianne Williams Tobias for her generous support of the Fall 2020 JCA Signature Series.

This event is exclusively virtual and will have no in-person availability to the public.


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Wednesday | 9.30.207:30pm
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