Technically I’m only four days behind on this post, but I have a queue of other topics forming, so unfortunately, this will have to be brief.
I first visited the CCAHA in October and was given a tour by Mellon Fellow Jessica Silverman. Thankfully, Jessica was available again to show us around the center before Leila heads back to Paris in July. It looked just as I remembered, but it was exciting to see all of the new projects in-progress, including a large collection of drawings from the Penn Museum done by M. Louise Baker (shown working below).
I guess I chose the perfect day for a visit because a guest speaker, Elin Danien, was there to talk about the artist that so many of the conservators were coming into contact with. Elin Danien is a scholar who recently finished her PhD on the collection of Chama pottery at the Penn Museum. Through her research, she came across the drawings by M. Louise Baker and immediately felt a connection with this ‘fiesty broad’ (Danien’s words). I believe Elin is now writing a book on Baker, but also curated an exhibition of Mayan pottery called Painted Metaphors.