Wednesday 01/18/17 7PM
New Museum TheaterVisit Us

From Obscurity to Prominence: The Discovery and Stewardship of Outsider Art

Cover Image:

Morton Bartlett, photograph of sculpted and painted plaster doll in hand-sewn clothes and wig, ca. 1950. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy Marion Harris Gallery

Managing an artist’s career or estate requires extreme sensitivity and astute business skills. Often, outsider artists present dealers and scholars with a somewhat unique quandary of management and interpretation, as the artists are frequently either dead when their work is discovered, or are perceived as having a limited ability to talk about the meaning of their art and make decisions about the trajectory of their careers. This panel discussion will bring together four professionals who have been tasked with navigating this difficult terrain, to talk about the ways in which they have helped shape our understanding of the work of artists who were unable to shape it themselves. Together, they will discuss both the rewards and potential pitfalls of this task of stewardship, and how their lives have been shaped by the work of these remarkable artists.

This event is presented to the public for free through special arrangement with the Outsider Art Fair. Tickets will be available on a first come first serve basis starting at 6pm the day of the event.

Panelists include Karen Patterson, curator of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, who will talk about her relationship to the work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein; gallerist Marion Harris, who will talk about finding and promoting the work of Morton Bartlett; and Tom di Maria, director of the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA, who will discuss the life and work of Judith Scott.


Presented through special arrangement with the Outsider Art Fair.

Education and Public Engagement programs at the New Museum are made possible, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Get Updates

We want to hear from you!

Help us improve our website by taking a 5-minute survey with a chance to win $100!

Take Survey
Back to mobile site