The Museum of Fine Arts along with the curators from the Department of Art History present Decolonizing Refinement: Contemporary Pursuits in the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié. Early in 2015 co-curators Dr. Paul Niell, Dr. Michael Carrasco, and doctoral candidate Lesley Wolff proposed an exhibition for the William Johnston Gallery that would involve student researchers in the Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies Program of the Department of Art History. The components were to be artifacts from regional collections, photo archives, and the artworks of Edouard Duval-Carrié, himself a curator and collector. Soon after proposal, it became evident that the sheer number of students and faculty involved—as well as the essential loans of objects from regional collections—would overflow that small venue. Dr. Niell’s successful proposal to the Council on Research and Creativity for an Arts & Humanities Enhancement Award made it possible for the Museum of Fine Arts to muster its own grants and resources to take on the project in order to premier Decolonizing Refinement: Contemporary Pursuits in the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié on February 16, 2018.
Edouard Duval-Carrié made multiple visits to Florida State University, working with students and faculty and touring regional collections. On February 17, in the context of a Symposium organized by Dr. Niell with his co-curators, Duval-Carrié gave a walking tour of the exhibition. Every aspect of Decolonizing Refinement has been accompanied by the enthusiastic collaboration of area museum professionals—from Goodwood Museum & Gardens, the Special Collections and Archives of Florida State University Libraries, the Thomas County Historical Society, the Florida Division of Historical Resources, the Southeastern Archaeology Center—as well as faculty at FAMU and FSU in Departments of Art, Art history, and collections.
It is fitting to recognize the village of participants who have made an exhibition of this magnitude possible: Scott Shamp, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, provided a grant to the project and Rachel Collins, Jessica Comas, Bobbie Fernandez, Gabrielle Taylor and Anna Prentiss each contributed to the flow of requisite resources and to handsome promotional pieces. The staff of the Museum and guest assistants (some photographed and others camera-shy) are continuing to welcome the public to the exhibition and were the team behind the scenes: Jean Young, Viki D. Thompson Wylder, Liz McLendon, Tiffany Ward, Wayne Vonada, Tom Wylder, and John Elao.
Our principal University sponsors were: The Office of the Dean, The Arts & Humanities Program Enhancement Award, The Nell Bryant Kibler Memorial Endowment, Dr. Kenneth Reckford, Charlotte Orth Reckford, and Martin Munro and The Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies at Florida State University. We join artist Edouard Duval-Carrié, Curators Paul Niell, Michael Carrasco, and Lesley Wolff in acknowledging the honor roll of individual faculty, students, and area museum/archive professionals who brought Decolonizing Refinement to our audiences: Sheri Patton, Jean Hudson, Katie McCormick, Daniela Paiewonsky, Maria Monegro, Mar Martínez, and Lyle Reitzel, Anne McCudden, Ephraim J. Rotter, Marie Prentice, Steve Karacic, Jerry Lee, Mary Glowacki, Dan Seinfeld, David Morgan, Richard Vernon, Nancy Morgan, Jennifer Humayun, Mary Fernandez, Nashid Madyun, Judy Rushin, Carolyn Henne, Noah Z. Brock, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Janae Easton, Liz DiDonna, Harris Wiltshire, Mark Messersmith, Sharon Norwood, Brian Holcombe, Caitlin Mims, Matthew Lawrence, Alexis Assam, Phyllis Asztalos, Sumaya Ayad, Taylor Crosby, Morgan Gunther, Rachel Fesperman, Ashton Langrick, Ashley Lindeman, Sarah Shivers, Emily Thames, Nina Gonzalbez, Kaley Craig, Michelina Schulze, Haylee Glasel, Jason Mitchell, Jessica Rassau, Catherine Rucker, Courtney Robinson, Hadley Knapp, Annie Booth, Carley Cohen, Hannah Wier.
—Allys Palladino-Craig, Director, Museum of Fine Arts