Comet Calendar




What are the many meanings of an artwork or artifact when it is displayed in an institutional setting? Is it so important to see the “real” thing? Much has been written about the role of objects as tools for teaching, or about the museum as a kind of classroom, but what about the ontology of the object in the structured particularity of a museum context? This question has become increasingly important as the nature of what constitutes a “real” thing is constantly changing. Recent developments in technology, advances in AI, and even social movements have raised questions about how objects should be displayed and contextualized, or even what constitutes a museum.



Thursday, October 5: 6-8 PM

Gregory Warden

Mark A. Roglán Director, Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture

Emeritus Professor of Art History SMU



Anne Balsamo

Arts and Humanities Distinguished University Chair, The University of Texas at Dallas

The Distributed Museum: How Objects Matter


Maurizio Forte

 William and Sue Gross Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies and of Art,

Art History, and Visual Studies, Duke University

The Invisible Museum: Performing Objects in Between AI and Human Brains



Friday, October 6, 10 AM – 1 PM


Gregory Warden


Michael Corris

Emeritus Professor of Art, SMU

The Long Road to the Transfiguration of the Museum of Art


Anthony Elia

Director and J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian

Bridwell Library & Perkins School of Theology, SMU

Virtue Ethics or Vulture Ethics? Reflections on Our Confessional Distance from Culpability in the Arts


Responses from the Museum

Amanda Dotseth

Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum

and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU


Michelle Rich

Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Associate Curator of Indigenous American Art

Dallas Museum of Art

Meadows Museum

Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History, Harry W. Bass Jr. School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology


Heather Bowling

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed above) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

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