The Menil Drawing Institute at the Menil Collection in Houston is dedicated to the study and display of drawing, with a focus on scholarship and raising public appreciation of the medium—from early drawings to modern and contemporary works. Inside Drawings: A Workshop on the Materiality of Unique Works on Paper will address the physical components of drawing practices in a focused manner, intended to give curators of drawing collections a broader understanding of unique works on paper for the purpose of better defining, researching, and interpreting drawings. Heightened knowledge of material composition, application of drawing mediums, material aging, and reaction to adverse conditions will benefit curators’ abilities to interpret, question, and care for the drawings in their purview.
This weeklong workshop will utilize the collection and staff of the Menil, involving outside experts in the fields of paper conservation, papermaking history, materials study, conservation imaging and science, and curation of drawings. There will be hands-on opportunities to deepen understanding of materials, as well as visits to exhibitions, collections, and an artist’s studio. Participants will discuss curatorial strategies through case studies of current Menil exhibition projects and study of artists’ works.
The workshop will offer ample networking opportunities throughout the week, including dinners, receptions, and discussions amongst participants that will be designed to both explore topics covered in the workshop and to consider concepts raised by drawings in participants’ home collections. The event is expected to enrich multiple facets of curatorial practice, from research and display to acquisitions and publications.