Past Event

Do Monuments Matter?

Reimagining their role in a changing world

World Monuments Fund and the Museum of the City of New York present:

2020 Paul Mellon Lecture
Do Monuments Matter?
Reimagining their role in a changing world

In recent years, the dialogue around monuments has seized headlines and provoked debate. But they have been created for thousands of years, each with unique intents, values, and challenges of its own. They are represented by great architectural treasures like the temples of Angkor, culturally-relevant heritage sites like the homes of Civil Rights leaders in Alabama, and powerful commemorative works like the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. What they share in common is the ability to move us—inspire us or motivate us to question their deeper purpose and function in society. World Monuments Fund and the Museum of the City of New York invite you to an evening of conversation that aims to reframe the “monument” in contemporary society and explore the role communities play in decision-making about past and future sites.

We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 2, 2020
Reception at 6:15 pm
Lecture beings promptly at 7:00 pm

Ronay Menschel Hall at the Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029


Vinnie Bagwell, an alumna of Morgan State University, began sculpting in 1993. Her first public artwork, “The First Lady of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald,” at Yonkers Metro-North/Amtrak train station, is the first sculpture of a contemporary African-American woman to be commissioned by a municipality in the United States. She has won 20 public art commissions around the US. Presently, Vinnie Bagwell is creating the “Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden,” an urban-heritage, public-art project for Yonkers; a seven-foot Sojourner Truth for the Walk Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie; and the $1M “Victory Beyond Sims” for Central Park.

Mark Jarzombek is Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture at MIT. He works on a wide range of topics – both historical and theoretical—and is one of the country’s leading advocates for global history. He has published several books and articles on that topic, including the ground-breaking textbook entitled A Global History of Architecture, with co-author Vikramaditya Prakash. He also works on philosophy in the digital age, and as a critic and curator. He is known for his EdX lectures on architectural history that have thousands of participants, world-wide.

Jenny Moore is the Director of The Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum founded by Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas. Comprised of 34 buildings and 340 acres, Chinati is one of the most significant installations of contemporary art in the world. In her six-year tenure, Moore has overseen completion of Robert Irwin’s untitled (dawn to dusk), completed Chinati’s first master plan, and stewarded a 30% increase in visitorship annually. Moore has over twenty years of experience in contemporary art, holding curatorial positions at the New Museum, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the 8th Gwangju Biennial.


Erica Avrami, PhD is the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and an affiliate with the Earth Institute – Center for Sustainable Urban Development. Her research focuses on the intersection of heritage and sustainability planning, the role of preservation in urban policy, and societal values and spatial justice issues in heritage decision-making. She currently serves on the editorial advisory board of the journals Change Over Time and Future Anterior.