At the College Art Association’s (CAA) 107th Annual Conference held at the Hilton Midtown in New York, New York on February 13-16, 2019, art historian Pearlie Rose S. Baluyut, Ph.D. chaired the session “Reinventing Museums in Southeast Asia from the Colonial to the National, the Regional to the Global,” which explored the significant role of museums in Southeast Asia, considering their (trans)formation in a colonial, national, regional, and/or global context.
Recognizing museums as (re)sources of power, the session attempted to deepen one’s understanding of institutional policies and practices, such as acquisition, collection, preservation, exhibition, and education. Moreover, it interrogated the contradictions inherent in this enterprise, as well as potential challenges and crises as contemporary art fairs and biennials took center stage.
Joined by academic scholars and a curator including Marina Kaneti, Ph.D. (National University of Singapore), Emily Stokes-Rees, Ph.D. (Syracuse University), and Joyce Toh (Singapore Art Museum), Baluyut presented her paper titled “A Relic of Reciprocity: The National Museum of the Philippines,” arguing that the said institution embodied the culture of personal and political reciprocity as it had since its founding by the American colonial government in 1901 and problematizing the aspirational image of a decolonized, democratic, and developed nation.
With the CAA-Getty International Program Project Director Janet Landay, Baluyut co-chaired an IDEA Exchange Roundtable called “Design an International Artist Program for Annual Conference,” bringing together a total of 12 participants, including CAA committee chairs and members and local and international artists and scholars from Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.
With 10,000 art historians, visual artists, and museum professionals as members, the CAA is the oldest and preeminent international leadership organization in the visual arts in the United States, promoting the fields of art history, visual arts/culture, design, and museum studies and their understanding through advocacy, intellectual engagement, and a commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners.
Baluyut currently serves as Chair of the CAA International Committee, which seeks to foster an international community of artists, scholars, and critics within CAA; to provide forums in which to exchange ideas and make connections; to encourage engagement with the international student community; to develop relationships between CAA and organizations outside the United States with comparable goals and activities; and to assist the CAA Board of Directors by identifying and recommending advocacy issues that involve CAA and cross national borders.