Desktop Dialogues

Listen as curators, educators, community leaders, artists, and others offer new ways to look at and understand artworks, special exhibitions, and museum-specific issues. Join the live conversation every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. 

Host Andrew Cappetta, manager of collection and exhibition programs at the CMA, is a museum educator, programmer, and scholar, committed to fostering conversation and making objects from the past and present relevant to contemporary audiences.  


Past Events

Documenting Communities

Wednesday, October 21, 12:00 p.m.

In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Bruce Davidson: Brooklyn Gang, join curator Barbara Tannenbaum and photographer Vincent Cianni as they explore the roles and responsibilities of the documentary photographer. In his projects We Skate Hardcore, Gays in the Military, and the Newburgh Community Photo Project, Cianni has explored issues of community, memory, and social justice. 

Desktop Dialogue: Documenting Communities

Navigating Gender and Breaking Barriers

Wednesday, October 7, 12:00 p.m.

What impact do gender constructs have on artists and art history? Is there greater gender equity in today’s art world?

New York–based artist Maria Yoon and curator Sooa McCormick explore the pressing issue of gender inequality, past and present, through their shared experience as Korean women and discuss how notions of gender play a role in their artistic and curatorial practices. Yoon’s documentary, Maria the Korean Bride (2013), uncovers the different ways communities across the United States view the institution of marriage. McCormick’s current exhibition, Gold Needles: Embroidery Arts from Korea, frames Korean embroidery works as tools for promoting women’s own cultural identities.

Program viewers are invited to watch Maria Yoon’s documentary Maria the Korean Bride, in its entirety and at no cost, here

Desktop Dialogue: Navigating Gender and Breaking Barriers

Images of Leadership

Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

How do images of leaders from the ancient world influence our understanding of what leadership can look like today?  

Join Andrew Cappetta and curator Seth Pevnick as they discuss ancient Greek and Roman representations of leadership through both ancient and modern lenses. How have surviving images of ancient leaders conditioned our present understanding of them? And how have interpretations of these ancient images helped shape historical images of American authority, allowing certain archetypes of leadership to persist?


Desktop Dialogue: Images of Leadership

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

What images represent democracy to you?  

Join Erika Anthony, the co-founder of Cleveland VOTES and the executive director of the Ohio Transformation Fund, to discuss how artists have represented the democratic process in the United States—from voting to protest—and how art plays a role in shaping civic participation and inciting political change.

Erika L. Anthony is the executive director of Ohio Transformation Fund (OTF), a collaborative fund developed by national and local funders advocating for healthy communities and an equitable democracy across Ohio. Prior to OTF, she served as the vice president of government relations and strategy for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Anthony has also co-founded Cleveland VOTES and Hack Cleveland.

Desktop Dialogue: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Care and Curatorial Practice: A Conversation with La Tanya Autry

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

How do you define the word “care” and how does it relate to curatorial practice?  

Scholar, curator, and cultural organizer La Tanya Autry discusses her innovative approach to creating exhibitions that focus on collective community care, including recent projects Temporary Spaces of Joy and Freedom (moCa Cleveland, 2020), Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom (Yale University Art Gallery, 2017), and The Art of Black Dissent (various sites, 2016–).  

La Tanya Autry has curated exhibitions and organized programs at moCa Cleveland, Yale University Art Gallery, Artspace New Haven, and other institutions. Through her graduate studies at the University of Delaware, where she is completing her PhD in art history, Autry has developed expertise in the art of the United States, photography, and museums. Her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment. As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, Autry has co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums, and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowdsourced bibliography. 

Desktop Dialogue: Care and Curatorial Practice: A Conversation with La Tanya Autry

Re-visioning Art and History

Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

At this moment, engaged citizens across the world are questioning the systems, structures, and values that museums are built upon. Join Andrew Cappetta and Key Jo Lee to discuss how these much-needed critiques will inform CMA programs like Desktop Dialogues and Close Looking at a Distance, explore objects that reshape what we know about art and museums including Fred Wilson’s To Die upon a Kiss, and learn the value of adopting multiple perspectives to understand works of art. 

Desktop Dialogue: Re-visioning Art and History

Recovering Lost Histories of Pride

Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

Honor the origins of Pride Month and its connections to the Black Lives Matter movement. Join writer-educator Naazneen Diwan from the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and curator Nadiah Rivera Fellah to discuss the importance of BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) queer and trans activists and artists to movements for LGBTQ+ rights. This is a live event, and questions from the audience are encouraged. 

Desktop Dialogue: Recovering Lost Histories of Pride

Healing and Heritage

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

Join curator Kristen Windmuller-Luna and artist-educator Orlando Caraballo to discuss how artists and makers have turned to cultural objects and practices for healing.

Desktop Dialogue: Healing and Heritage

Restore and Reflect

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Join curator Sonya Rhie Mace and meditation instructor Jennifer Bochik as they look closely at examples of Buddhist art and demonstrate how traditional mindfulness practices can help us manage the challenges we are facing today.

Desktop Dialogue: Restore and Reflect

The Comforts of Home

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

What objects around your home bring you comfort? Curator Stephen Harrison and educator-scholar Key Jo Lee discuss Emma Amos’s Sandy and Her Husband and decorative art from the museum’s collection, reflecting on the ways works of art and design make the home a place of tranquility.

Desktop Dialogue: The Comforts of Home


Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

Have you found yourself developing hacks and work-arounds to put dinner on the table or celebrate a holiday? Join curator Nadiah Rivera Fellah and artist-educator Robin Heinrich to discuss how limitations helped artists Sanford Biggers, Louisa Joiner, and Robert Rauschenberg become resourceful and arrive at new creative solutions.

Desktop Dialogue: Resourcefulness

Communicating across Distances

Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

Join curator Britany Salsbury and educator Arielle Levine for a discussion around the exhibition A Graphic Revolution and how artists José Guadalupe Posada and León Ferrari used printmaking to communicate ideas and messages across great distances.

Desktop Dialogue: Communicating across Distances

This program has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

National Endowment for the Humanities seal

All education programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Education. Generous annual funding is provided by Eva and Rudolf Linnebach and the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art.