Join us for the next session of our IOTA II Research Seminar Series – Free and open to all. More information, and the full series schedule can be found here

Dr Nushelle de Silva (She/her) received her PhD in architectural history from MIT. Currently a postdoctoral fellow at Ithaca College, she will join Fordham University as Assistant Professor in Art History in 2023. Her research examines architecture’s infrastructural role in mediating the movement of people, objects, and ideas, and her current project looks at traveling museum exhibitions in the latter half of the twentieth century. Nushelle is a current Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Design History.


Boxes Beyond Borders: Traveling Art Exhibitions and the Technopolitics of Object Care

4pm – 5:30pm

Grand Parade, M2

25th May 2023

In this talk, I will examine how standards for climate controls in museums were established in the latter half of the twentieth century, beginning with the experimental installation of air conditioning at National Gallery in London in 1950 and ending with the loan of artwork for the Fine Arts Exhibition at Expo 67 in Montreal. I will look at influences from the establishment of international organizations for conservation to the administrative role of scientific staff at museums to elicit the strands of colonial thought now embedded in standards for this form of preventive conservation. At this time of reckoning for museums, it is worth seriously scrutinizing the politics of these seemingly prosaic practices.