How Gold Shaped the World: Anthropologists, historians, and scientists on the enduring power of gold [Video]

Gold is one of the rarest and most malleable minerals, qualities that have contributed to its enduring value across time and place. Gold has been shaped by artists; its extraction has altered landscapes, and its discovery has raised nations. The allure of gold is entwined with culture and economies, politics and religion, power and value. On May 9, 2019 The Block Museum of Art's Associate...

Medievalists organize study day around Caravans of Gold

Sarah Guérin (Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania) and Christina Normore (Department of Art History, Northwestern University) organized a study day of the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa at The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. On May 13, 2019, a group of International Center of...

Artist-at-Large Dario Robleto discusses ethics with experts across fields [Video]

Artist Dario Robleto returned to Evanston this spring to continue his ongoing collaboration as Northwestern's inaugural Artist-at-Large, hosted by the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and The Block Museum of Art. The Artist-at-Large Program brings contemporary artists to campus for in-depth exchanges with faculty and students; the Program joins other activities organized by...

Break A Rule: Artists Remember Ed Paschke as a Professor [Video]

Renowned Chicago painter and educator Ed Paschke (1939–2004) often began his classes with the assignment to “break a rule.” A bold innovator who enjoyed disrupting conventions, Paschke mentored students for over two and a half decades at Northwestern University, continually coaching them to think outside the box. His work and his teaching were devoted to experimentation, playful exploration...

The Debt Is Infinite: Discussing ‘Outlier’ Artists and the work of Paul Chan with curator Lynne Cooke [Video]

Paul Chan’s landmark 2003 digital animation Happiness (finally) after 35,000 years of civilization draws on the themes and iconography of one of Chicago’s most celebrated self-taught artists, Henry Darger. The Block Museum presents the monumental video installation in its Alsdorf Gallery during Fall 2018. On October 4, Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator for Special Projects in Modern Art at the...

How to Think like an Artist/Engineer – Tips from Lisa Corrin and Julio Ottino

At a high level, scientists and artists connect through the need to make things—to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Julio M. Ottino,  Northwestern Engineering Dean and Lisa Corrin, Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Block Museum of Art, recently sat down with Northwestern Engineering Magazine to provide a few tips for those looking to expand their creative and analytical...

Aymar Jean Christian and Miriam Petty on Intersectional Identities and Peak TV [Audio]

  How do representations of women of color serve to "brand" TV networks and film studios?  In May, 2018 Professors Aymar Jean Christian and Miriam Petty screened clips of recent critically acclaimed shows like Insecure and Queen Sugar and discussed how they fit into strategies of major media brands.  The conversation was presented by the Block Museum of Art in partnership with the 2018...

The Block and MENA host Bahman Ghobadi – the “Poet Laureate of Kurdish Cinema”

The Middle East and North African Studies Program and Block Museum of Art joined together in May 2018 to present three days of series of screenings and discussions with one of Iran’s leading filmmakers, Bahman Ghobadi.   The series, titled Life on the Border: The Cinema of Bahman Ghobadi, was made possible by Tamilla Ghodsi (WCAS ‘91) and Zuleika M. Ghodsi (WCAS ‘93), whose generous gift...

Indigenous Artists in Collaboration: A Conversation [Video]

On November 29, 2017, the Block Museum was honored to host a special conversation with four contemporary Native artists.  Each of the women on the panel works within a collaborative artistic practice that unites artists, community, and audience. From to participatory dance and collective narratives, to asynchronous poetry and public interventions these artists upend the notion of art as a...

First-of-its-kind mummy study reveals clues to girl’s story [Video]

The intact portrait mummy now on view at the Block within the Paint the Eyes Softer: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt has traveled far and wide on her journey to the exhibition. This fall, the ancient artifact became the site of a groundbreaking new study that brought together researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering, the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Art Institute of Chicago, and...