Date of Award

Spring 4-30-1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art & Art History

First Advisor

Wayne Dynes

Second Advisor

Ulku Bates

Academic Program Adviser

Ulku Bates


William Olander, Senior Curator of The New Museum of Contemporary Art, was born July 14, 1950, and died of AIDS March 18, 1989. From his first curatorial project, a presentation of performance art in April 1980, and until his death, Olander's curatorial practice was based on theoretically formulated ideas that promoted active participation in culture with traditional and non-traditional mediums. He has been described as a "model museum curator" with some "very novel ideas."

This thesis traces Olander's early background and formal education in order to show the development of his approach to contemporary art within the institutional context of the museum and to delineate Olander's role as an activist curator and his understanding of postmodern culture and art.


William Olander (1950-1989), Senior Curator of The New Museum.

Included in

Art Practice Commons



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