Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obama Administration Appoints More CPAC Members

President Obama has appointed two more members of CPAC, Nina M. Archabal and Barbara Bluhm-Kaul. See

According to the White House Press Release,

Dr. Nina M. Archabal, Appointee for Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee

Dr. Nina M. Archabal is the Director Emerita of the Minnesota Historical Society, having recently retired after 23 years of service as its Director and State Historic Preservation Officer. She has served as Chair of the boards of the American Association of Museums and of the United States Committee of the International Council of Museums, and is on the board of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Archaeology and History. Dr. Archabal received the President’s Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Humanities Medal. She has been an overseer of Harvard College, a member of the National Council on the Humanities, and received the Harvard Medal for Extraordinary Service to the Harvard Community and the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Archabal received an A.B. and M.A.T. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul, Appointee for Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul is a trustee of The Art Institute in Chicago and the Aspen Art Museum. She is a benefactor of the Bluhm Family Terrace at the Modern Wing of The Art Institute as well as of the Bluhm Seminar Room. Ms. Bluhm-Kaul has sponsored art exhibitions at The Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Aspen Art Museum. She has loaned works from her collection to many major museums throughout the world including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Ms. Bluhm-Kaul received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

It is unclear whether the new members will be assigned to museum or public slots. It should be noted however that Ms. Bluhm-Kaul does not appear to have direct experience with the types of artifacts that are subject to CPAC's deliberations, and that Ms. Archabal's background suggests sympathy for the archaeological position in the cultural property debate.

CPAC is supposed to provide the President's designee at the State Department with useful advice that reflects the interests of collectors, dealers, museums and archaeologists. So far, however, President Obama's picks seem more geared to ensuring that CPAC "doesn't make waves" when asked to impose the broadest import restrictions possible than anything else.

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