Please join us for a webinar titled, "Why Have There Been No Great Art Libraries: The Role of Radical Cataloging in the Reassessment of Art History" by Janna Singer-Baefsky, one of the winners of this year's Celine Palatsky Travel Award for the ARLIS/NA Conference in St. Louis. Janna Singer-Baefsky is a graduate student studying Library Science at the Pratt Institute and Art History at Hunter College. Her research focuses on digital initiatives within art institutions and the role they can play in providing access and diverse representation. She currently works as a Digital Assistant at David Zwirner Gallery.
Due to the cancellation of the conference, ARLIS/NY is providing members with an opportunity to hear this presentation virtually via Zoom. The webinar will take place on Thursday June 11th from 1:00-1:45pm. Registered participants will receive a link to the Zoom webinar the day before the event.
In Teaching the Radical Catalog, Emily Drabinski writes “library classifications use the hegemonic language of the powerful: they reflect, produce and reproduce hierarchies; they order sameness and difference and prevent the full representation of minority literatures; they arrest the linguistic transformation in emerging fields of knowledge and identity production.” Indeed, art history is no stranger to this concept. It is a subject which, up until Linda Nochlin asked: “why have there been no great women artists,” was defined by white, cisgender, and heterosexual men. By embracing art history’s inherent interdisciplinarity, art historians have been pushing to reconstruct its predominantly masculine narrative. Art libraries reside in a unique spot within the field as the necessary conduit for this restructuring. In this paper, I will assess whether radical cataloging, a method of giving voices to people and concepts that are difficult to access through library search subjects, is a viable system to implement within art libraries. Referencing the ways in which this concept has been applied in other libraries and art institutions, I will determine how, if at all, radical cataloging can restructure the art library to mimic our current reassessment of the history of art.
ARLIS/NY is happy to share a recording of this webinar! Click here to see a transcript.