Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Lecture: James Cuno

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Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Lecture: James Cuno
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Detroit Institute of Arts says
James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, is this year’s speaker at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ 20th annual Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Lecture. Cuno will give a talk entitled “Cultural Heritage or Humanity’s Heritage: What’s the Difference?” in the museum’s Lecture Hall. The event is FREE and open to the public.

The phrase “cultural heritage” is in the news a lot today. The destruction of temples in Palmyra, in present-day Syria; mausoleums in Mali, West Africa, and the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan have been described as acts against the world’s global “cultural heritage.” Cuno will raise questions about whether cultural property belongs to an individual nation’s heritage or instead should be thought of as humanity’s heritage.

Cuno has lectured and written widely on museums and cultural and public policy. Among the books he has written are “Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public Trust”; “Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage”; “Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities”; and “Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum.” Cuno is a Fellow and International Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Cuno was born in St. Louis, Missouri and earned a bachelor of arts in history from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, a master’s in art history from the University of Oregon, and a master’s and Ph.D in fine arts (history of art) from Harvard University. He has held teaching positions at Vassar College, UCLA, Dartmouth and Harvard, and served as director of UCLA’s Grunwald Center of the Graphic Arts, Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art, Harvard University Art Museums, director and professor of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago. He became president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust in 2011.

The J. Paul Getty Trust was among the donors to the 2014 “Grand Bargain,” which provided $816 million to City of Detroit retirees as part of the settlement of the City’s bankruptcy. As a result, the DIA’s collection, building and grounds were transferred from the City of Detroit to an independent nonprofit, securing the collection’s future. The commitment of the J. Paul Getty Trust to the idea that art belongs to all members of our society was the driving force behind their support for the DIA in 2014 and promises to be a key component of this thought-provoking talk.

The lecture is sponsored by the Dr. Coleman Mopper Memorial Endowment Fund in conjunction with the DIA’s European Paintings Council and the Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.
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By: Detroit Institute of Arts

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