Director of Museum of Contemporary Art Denver To Visit WCMA for Talk & Student Workshop

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Adam Lerner, the director and chief animator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, is visiting the Williams College Museum of Art in mid-April for two events.

Lerner will give a talk on Saturday, April 13, at 3 p.m. on creativity in the art museum, and he will work with students to create a public program inspired by the concept of brunch that will be presented on Sunday, April 14, from noon to 2 p.m.

Lerner joined MCA Denver in 2009 as the Mark G. Falcone director and chief animator. He has curated dozens of exhibitions and projects with contemporary artists such as Barnaby Furnas, Liam Gillick and Christian Marclay and also showcased the non-traditional talents of mixologists, astrobiologists, shamans and pigeoneers.Before that, he created and ran the Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar (aka “The Lab”) from 2004 to 2009 and, before that, he was the master teacher for modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum and the curator of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore.

Lerner received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and his master’s from Cambridge University. He was a Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from 1997 to 1998. A 2011 article in the New York Times said Lerner’s efforts to engage audiences are “reshaping what has become a stale model for a contemporary art museum.” He runs Animating Museums, a three-year program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to provide creative professional development for a select group of art museum employees nationwide.

He is best known for his unique approach to museum programming that combines elements of curatorial, artistic and educational production. His talk on April 13 will draw on that approach and discuss the role authenticity plays in his practice. The talk is the annual Envisioning Curatorial Practice Lecture and is co-sponsored by the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Artand the Williams College Museum of Art.

During his visit, Lerner also will be working with WCMA’s Agents for Creative Action, a group of Williams College students learning about museum practice and creating original programs for the museum. Their workshop will culminate in a public program titled “Experiments with Art and Brunch.” The Sunday, April 14, event will showcase an experimental intervention created by Lerner and the students in 24 hours, along with a group of creative collaborators from the community.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit