James Putnam is an independent curator
and writer. He studied Art History at
London University and went on to join the Egyptian Antiquities and then the
Education Departments of the British Museum having curated contemporary
projects both for and independently of the Museum. In 1994 he curated
the critically acclaimed exhibition 'Time Machine' which juxtaposed
contemporary art with historical artefacts. He founded the British Museum's
Contemporary Arts and Cultures Programme in 1999 which relates to the
philosophically rigorous role of museums: to examine and re-examine history,
art and artefacts in the light of current cultural-related issues.
James Putnam initiates projects with a cross-disciplinary approach, working
with visual and performing artists, designers, writers and cultural studies
specialists. He develops residencies, installations, talks and performances
and conferences in collaboration with national and international
institutions. He has organized exhibitions at unusual venues which combine
contemporary art with historic sites and artefacts, like the ongoing series
of exhibitions he curates at the Freud Museum, London.
He is also a writer,
having published both on ancient and contemporary art, including 'Art and
Artifact – the Museum as Medium' (Thames & Hudson, 2001) which offers an
extensive survey of the relationship between the artist and museum, a
subject on which he also lectures.
James Putnam was a Visiting Scholar in Museum Studies at New York
University, 2003-2004, Associate Curator at the Bowes Museum, County Durham, UK, 2004-2006, and Senior Lecturer - Criticism, Communication & Curation, University of the Arts, London, 2004-2011.
He is currently Senior Research Fellow,Exhibitions at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London
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