British Museum-the American dream: Pop to the Present – Curator’s Talk

I was very pleased to be able to go to a talk given by the curator of this show before the exhibition itself actually opened. It was a fascinating insight into how the works were chosen and categorised within the exhibition. It aims to tell the story of American art through printmaking over the past six decades and the exhibition will be divided into 12 sections

  • pop art (1960s to 70s)
  • three giants of printmaking: Johns, Rauschenberg and Dine
  • the print workshop: experimentation and collaboration (1960s onwards)
  • made in California: the West Coast experience (1960s to 90s)
  • persistence of abstraction (1960s to 70s)
  • minimalism and conceptualism from the 1970s
  • photorealism: portraits and landscapes (1970s on)
  • the figure reasserted (1970s onward)
  • politics and dissent (1960s onward)
  • feminism, gender and the body (1970s onward)
  • race and identity-unresolved histories (1960s onward)
  • signs of the times (2010s)


The exhibition curator outlined each of these are specific sections, the artist that would be displayed within each and their particular work and why they had been chosen. He also explained how the exhibition would be arranged; what was of particular interest was how windows had been created within the exhibition walls so that as you walk through the exhibition you could look forward to what is coming next or even look back to what you have had seen and in this way particular exhibits were related to how they had progressed over time.

It was particularly interesting to hear the curator talking about each of the artists that had been chosen, why they had been chosen and how these particular categories of work had come about and been decided upon for the exhibition itself.

I look forward to seeing the exhibition when it opens in March.