Arts & Leisure

Sheldon Museum hosts ‘Aesthetic Addictions’

PORCELAIN COLLECTOR (DETAIL), by Alfred Stevens, 1868. North Carolina Museum of Art.

The Henry Sheldon Museum presents a lecture by Graham C. Boettcher, Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art on Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., via Zoom. This is the second talk in the “Elephant in the Room: Exploring the Future of Museums” series organized by the Stewart-Swift Research Center.

Collections are the foundation of museums, and behind every collection lies the story of a collector. In his talk, “Aesthetic Addictions: Psychological perspectives on Collecting from Rudolph II to Charles Foster Kane,” Dr. Boettcher will focus on some of history’s greatest collectors — actual and fictional — exploring what motivates these passionate gatherers and separates them from hoarders. He will also discuss how the ethics of collecting have changed, and touch on some of the new challenges and obligations collectors — both individual and institutional — face today.

Graham C. Boettcher, director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, and an M.A. from the University of Washington. Last year, when the BMA closed due to the pandemic, Boettcher launched a weekly series of live-streaming tours of the museum’s collection galleries, which was named a recommended “quarantstream” by Good Morning America and ABC News. To date, his virtual tours have garnered more than 43,000 views.

This talk is free and open to all. To learn more about the “Elephant in the Room” series and to register for the talk, visit:

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