Presenter: Tammy Jo Wilson, Salem Art Association and Bush House Museum
As caretakers of the Bush House Museum (BHM), the Salem Art Association (SAA) has a special responsibility to look closely at the historical record and, when evidence of oppression or racism comes to light, to acknowledge wrongdoings in an honest and upfront manner. To this end, Matthew Boulay and Tammy Jo Wilson have initiated an effort to clearly and unequivocally condemn Asahel Bush’s racist words and actions. And yet, simply condemning past racism is not enough. At SAA, we believe in the power of art to not only educate, entertain, delight, and dazzle, but to simultaneously interrogate, stimulate, and challenge. With these goals in mind, the SAA/BHM team is re-imagining exhibitions and programming at BHM by placing contemporary art in a historical setting. In their talk, Boulay and Wilson will share some of the history surrounding Asahel Bush and describe the team's current efforts to expand the curatorial vision of this extraordinary house museum.