Matthew Brower

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BL 609
Assistant Professor and Director of Museum Studies

PhD (2005) Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester.
MA (2002) Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester.
MA (2000) Methodologies for the Study of Western History and Culture, Trent University.
BA (1994) Fine Arts, University of Guelph.

Administrative responsibilities: 

Acting Director, Museum Studies Program

co-chair, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Ethics Panel B

Research highlight: 

Curated Exhibitions

Through the Body: Lens-based Work by Contemporary Chinese Women Artists, co-curated with Fu Xiaodong and Zhou Yan, UTAC, April 29 – June 28, 2014.

Threatened, Endangered, Extinct: Artists Confront Species Loss, Open Studio, April 4 – May 10, 2014.

Collective IdentityOccupied Spaces, co-curated with David Liss and Bonnie Rubenstein, two-venue primary exhibition for the 2012 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, UTAC, May 1 – June 30, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, April 28 – June 3, 2012.

Suzy Lake Political Poetics, co-curated with Carla Garnet, primary exhibition for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, UTAC, April 30 – June 25, 2011.McIntosh Gallery, London, ON, January 5 – February 18, 2012.MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, ON, March 7 – April 29, 2012.Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS, August 25 – October 7.Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough, ON, November 9, 2012 – January 6, 2013.

The University College Collection: Great Art for a Great University, co-curated with Niamh O’Laoghaire, UTAC, January 18 – March 19, 2011.

The Brothel without Walls, co-curated with Bonnie Rubenstein, Primary Exhibition for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, UTAC, April 29 – May 29, 2010.

Gord Peteran: Recent Works, UTAC, September 8 – December 5, 2009.

Mieke Bal: Nothing is Missing, UTAC, March 13 – 28, 2009.

Figure, Form and Ground, University of Toronto Art Centre, January 15-March 14, 2009.

The Malcove Vision, UTAC, January 15-March 14, 2009.


Selected publications: 


Developing Animals: Wildlife and Early American Photography, University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

Edited Collections

Suzy Lake: Political Poetics, UTAC / Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, 2011.

Matthew Brower and Niamh O’Laoghaire, editors, A Catalogue of the University College Collection, UTAC, 2011.

Thy Phu and Matthew Brower, Guest Editors, Circulation, Special Issue of History of Photography, 32.2, 2008.

Refereed Articles

“A Rupture in the Field of Representation: Animals, Photography and Affect,” Photography and Culture, vol. 2, no. 3 (2009), 317-325. “George Shiras and the Circulation of Wildlife Photography,” History of Photography, 32.2 (Summer 2008), 169-175. “‘Take Only Photographs’: Animal Photography’s Production of Nature Love,” Invisible Culture, 9, (2005). Reprinted in Antennae: the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, 5.2 (July). “Trophy Shots: Early North American Non-Human Animal Photography and the Display of Masculine Prowess,” Society and Animals, 13.1, 2005, 13-32. “Robert Bateman’s Natural Worlds,” Journal of Canadian Studies, 33.2, 1998, 66-77. “Framed by History,” Journal of Canadian Studies, 31.2, 1996, 178-183.   Non-refereed Articles, Catalogue Essays, and Interviews   “Kitsch, Camp, and the Anxieties of the Art World,” Catalogue Essay, Art Gallery of Mississauga, 2014 Matthew Brower, Fu Xiaodong, and Zhou Yan, “Through the Body,” CONTACT magazine, 78-87, 2014. “Artists Confront Species Loss,” Open Studio, Toronto, 1-8, 2014. “The Bird Effect,” Interview with Ceri Levy, Antennae, 27, 52-61, 2013. Matthew Brower, David Liss, and Bonnie Rubenstein, “Collective Identity │Occupied Spaces,” CONTACT Magazine, 32-59, 2012. “Olga Chagaoutdinova: One sees clearly only with the heart,” Olga Chagoutdinova / Evergon, Galerie Trois Points, Montréal, 8-11, 2011. “Suzy Lake: the Double Function,” Suzy Lake: Political Poetics, UTAC / Scotiabank CONTACT, 4-9, 2011. Matthew Brower and Carla Garnet, “Suzy Lake: Political Poetics,” Scotiabank CONTACT Magazine, 19-24, 2011.
“Against Indifference: Suzanne Nacha at Open Studio,” Catalogue Essay, Open Studio, 2009. Thy Phu and Matthew Brower, “Editorial,” History of Photography, Special Issue on the Circulation of Photographs, 32.2, 105-9, 2008. “Michel Daigneault, The Other Side of Abstraction,” Catalogue Essay, Open Studio, 2008. “Seeing the Animals at the Zoo,” Catalogue Essay, Interaccess, 2007. “Monica Tap: Séance,” Catalogue Essay, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, 2007. “Animal Studies and Film: an Interview with Matthew Brower,” Devin Delliquanti, Modern Mask, 1.1, 2006.   Review Articles   “Robert Burley, The Disappearance of Darkness,” Exposure, Fall, 54-9, 2014. “Louis Kaplan, American Exposures and Martha Langford, Image and Imagination,” Revue des Arts Canadien/Canadian Art Review, 41.1-2, 2006, 103-5. “Charlotte Sleigh, Ant,” Anthrozoos, 19.2, 2006, 172-5. “Jonathan Burt, Animals in Film,” Society and Animals, 11.3, 2003, 299-301.

PhD Committee Member

2014-   Ashley Scarlet, “On the Matter of Digital Objects in Contemporary Media Art,” in progress. 2015-   Erica Gajewski, “Animal Representation,” Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Leesa Fawcett, supervisor.

Thesis Supervision

2013-15  Richard Laurin, “The McMichaels and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection,” Masters of Museum Studies, University of Toronto, in progress. 2010-11   Vanessa Fleet, “Between Art and Artifact: The Photography of Abel Boulineau,” Masters of Museum Studies, University of Toronto, completed.

Major Research Paper Supervision

2007-8    Meghan Lowe, “Dreamworld and Reality: The Photographic Works of Shana and Robert Parke-Harrison,” Art History MA, York University, completed.
Published as: Meaghan Lowe, “Dreamworld and Reality: An Exploration of Environmental Aesthetics in Contemporary Photography,” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Number 21, Spring 2009, 105-119. 2007-8   Carla Garnett, “Suzy Lake,” Art History MA, York University, completed. I was forced to withdraw from her committee before the completion of the paper by the end of my contract with York. Published as: Carla Garnet, “Contradiction and Oscillation in Suzy Lake’s Choreographed Puppets,” in Matthew Brower, ed., Suzy Lake: Political Poetics, UTAC / Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, 26-33.  2007-8    Lia Papas, “Karen Bubas: Studies in Landscape and Wardrobe,” Art History MA, York University, completed. 2007-8     Kathlene Bolender-Edwards, “The Relation of Interpretive and Marketing Strategies for Audience Engagement in New Museum Theory to the Conception, Presentation and Reception of Turner, Whistler, Monet: Impressionist Visions,” Art History MA, York University, completed. 2006-7     Avril McMeekin, “Yasumasa Morimura,” Art History MA, York University, withdrawn. 2006-7      Barbara Staulus, “Constructing the View: Isabelle Hayeur’s Photography,” Art History MA, York University, completed. 2006-7       Allison Ksiazkiewicz, “Dinosaurs as a Site of Liminality,” Art History MA, York University, completed. 2005-6        Jodie James Elliot, “Prototypes for New Understandings: The Work of Brian Jungen,” Art History MA, York University, withdrawn.   Major Research Paper Committee Member 2007      Kate Stephenson, “Uncommon Commonalities: Uncovering Cultural Hybridity in Brian Jungen's Prototypes for New Understanding and Rebecca Bellmore's Freeze,” Art History MA, York University, completed.   Thesis Committee Member                                                                                 2006-7                   Svava Thorvaldson, MFA candidate, York University, defended.

External Examiner

2010      Shannon Partridge, “Behavioral Enrichment,” MFA Defense, University of Waterloo, April 20. 2009    Nicole Rayburn, “Monstrous Propositions,” MFA Defense, University of Western Ontario, August 21. 2008   Lauren Nurse, “Disappear Here,” MFA Defense, York University, April 24. 2008     Joe Hambleton, “I was Born in Forest Glade,” MFA Defense, York University, March 18. 2006    Laura Moore, “1:12,” MFA defense, York University, April 18.


Independent Study Supervision

2014      Adrienne Costantino, “Oral Histories of Persian Carpets,” completed. 2014       Jana Black, “Artist Interventions in Nature – Exhibitions without Walls,” completed. 2013       Samantha Haddon, Rachel Wong, Sandrena Raymond, and Lynne Allain, “Animals and Museology,” completed. 2012      Elizabeth Novak, “Museum Disability Accessibility – ROM Exhibitions: A Case Study for Accessibility Success,” completed. 2010       Carolyne Clare, “A Micropolitics of Archiving and Activating Dancing Bodies,” completed. 2009        John Rubino, “Adult and Community Programs in Ontario Contemporary Art Museums,” completed.


Student Exhibition Supervision

Displaycase Archive of Student Exhibition Projects

2016        Origami, Amber Roberts, !dea Gallery, Ontario Science Centre, September 17 – December 4. 2015      Cree: The People’s Language, Julianna Rock and Ann Snook, Canadian Language Museum, Wilson Hall, New College, March 26 – April 10. 2015        Highlights in the Evolution of Canada’s National Ballet School, Katherine Hanneman, Lily Jackson, Niamh Byrne Rodgers, National Ballet School Website, April – April 2017. 2015         The Prosthetic, Meaghan Dalby, Haleigh Fox, Daniel Lake, Nicole Marcogliese, Cady Moyer, !dea Gallery, Ontario Science Centre, May 30 – September 20. 2015         “More Real than Reality”: The Art of Canadian Composite Photography, 1870-1930, Kaitlin Normandin, Shelsie Tunks, and Danielle Varadi-Starer, Campbell House Museum, May 1-31. 2015          Staging Science, Patrick Donovan, Laura Hartwell, Meggi Mah, and Erin Tuckey, Third Floor, Victoria College, May 1 – September. 2015          Viva Sport, Katrina Cohen-Palacios, Holly Durawa, Christine Silver, Malton Gallery, Terminal 1, Domestic Arrivals, Toronto Pearson International Airport, mid-April – mid-September. 2015         Altered Art Gallery, Cody Brown,, April. 2015         How to Judge a Book From its Cover, Alexander Somerville, Kelly Library, St Michael’s College, April 1 – mid-July. 2015         General Eclectic: Oral Histories from Kensington Market, Rachel Leaton and Michelle Williams, Kensington Market Historical Society Website, April 19th launch. 2015          Faith & Place, Fiona Anthes, Andrew Crawley, Daira Szostak, Megan Wiles, Ismaili Cultural Centre, mid-late March – August. 2015           Information Artchitecture, Kristen Atkins, Allison Morey, Jordan-na Belle-Isle, Faculty of Information, April 2014 – April 2015. 2015         The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition, Molly McGowan, Melanie Mundle, Jennifer Rodrigues, University of Toronto Art Centre, March 24 – April 11, 2015. 2014       Classroom to Community: A Century of Social Work in Toronto, Desiree Fuller and Nora Venezky, Typewriter Gallery, Royal Ontario Museum, October 2014 – April, 2015. 2014       The Art of Invention: A Celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Weston Youth Innovation Awards¸ Jana Black and Adrienne Constantino, !dea Gallery, Ontario Science Centre, June 7 – September 28. 2014        Archiving Public Sex, Jessica Martin and Ana Martins (assistant curators), UTAC art lounge, April 29 – June 28, Curator: Nicholas Matte, Additional assistant curator: Lisa Kadey. 2014       Black, White & Read All Over, Ashley Creed, Ellen Flood, Rebecca Hicks, and Brian Joe, Malton Gallery, Terminal 1, Domestic Arrivals, Toronto Pearson International Airport, April 11 – September. 2014                       Science in Colour: Exploring a History of Scientific Instruments at the University of Toronto, Cheryl Copson, Alice McClintock, Ariel Pomerance, Sarah Silvestri, Third Floor, Victoria College, April 4th – October 2014. 2014       Huzza for Freedom! Political Cartoons from the War of 1812, Keely Bland, Oriana Duinker, Kristie Nairn, and Hilary Walker, Parliament Interpretive Centre, Toronto, April 2 to mid-September, 2014. Awarded Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award. 2014        A Decade of Collecting: A Look into the Doris McCarthy Gallery Collection, Lyne Allain and Bronwen Green, Doris McCarthy Gallery, April. 2014        Tune In: Radio at the Ontario Science Centre, Lauren Williams, 4th floor, Ontario Science Centre, April (Permanent Installation). 2014        From Coast to Coast: French in Canada | D'un océan à l'autre: le français au Canada, Robyn Bosnyak, Kaetlen Bursey, and Katharine Snider McNair, Wilson Hall, New College, March 26-April 3. 2014       The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition, Katie Funfgeld, Ellen Hlozan, Katherine Laite, Nicole Matitayau, and Kate Tyka, University of Toronto Art Centre, March 25-April 12, 2014. 2013       The Cat’s Tomb, curated by Amyn Adatia, Ancient Egypt Gallery, Royal Ontario Museum, Ancient Egypt Weekend, June. 2013       Janieta Eyre: Constructing Mythologies, curated by Orysia Goddard, Rachel Wong, Kristin Martin, and Elizabeth Morningstar, UTAC, feature exhibition for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, May 1 – June 29. 2013        In View: Objects and Images from the History of Photography in Canada, curated by Chelsea Jefferey, Malton Gallery, Terminal 1, Toronto Pearson International Airport, April 19 - September 20. 2013       Journey Through Memory, curated by Naomi Lerman, Tobie Miller, and Vanessa Tamburro, Apotex and Water Cooler Galleries, Baycrest, April 14 – May. 2013        The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition, Curated by Meaghan Eldridge, Andrea Dixon, Anne Ahrens Embleton, and Danielle Megaffin, UTAC, April 2 – 13. 2013       Through the Looking Glass: Inside Julius’Domestic Portrait, curated By Laura McPhie, UTAC, April 2 – 13. 2013        Builders and Observers: A History of Making Astronomical Instruments at the Dunlap Institute, Curated by Emily Horne, Samantha Haddon, Amanda McGee, Lauren Herzog, Claire MacDonald-Matthews and Laura Imrie, Third Floor Victoria College, March 21 – October. 2013       Intimate Immensity, curated by Laura Warren-Causton, Gladstone Hotel, March 4 - 17. 2013      Inuit Languages, curated by Britney Hollis in partnership with the Canadian Language Museum, New College Lounge, March. 2012       Just as You Are: Portraits by Robert Giard, curated by Diana Gore, Renee Van der Avoird, and Julia Cyr, UTAC art lounge, feature exhibition for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, May 1 – June 30. 2012       Canadian English, Eh?, curated by Tamara Ivis, Heather Mawby and Caylie Gnyra, Wilson Lounge, New College, March 22 – April 5. The exhibition was developed in partnership with The Canadian Language Museum and the Department of Linguistics. 2012        That Connecting Link, curated by Melanie Derschowitz and Chelsea Carss, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1: International departure lounge, March 2 – June 20. 2012        Spark! Creativity in Art and Science, curated by Naomi Rupke, Rebecca Michaels, Alyssa Gomori, and Susan Pang, !dea Gallery, Ontario Science Centre, March 2 – July 30. 2012        Transformative Human Rights: 25 Years in the Field, curated by Gillian Gallimore, Shannon Linde, Rachel Meloche, Rumin Jehangir, Erika Smith, Stephanie Butland, and Haley Smith, UTAC art lounge, February 9 – 24. The exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Faculty of Law’s International Human Rights Program. 2011        Still Dancing, Still Inspiring: Celebrating 60 Years of The National Ballet of Canada, Curated by Elizabeth Rodriguez, Kristen Kerr, Michelle Chan, Katie Browning, and Jackie Armstrong, Toronto City Hall Rotunda, November 14 – 20. 2011        DisplayCase, curated by Heather Anderson and Martha Kroeker, online exhibition case studies. ( 2011        Chris Curreri: Something Something, curated by Kristin Stoesz and Vanessa Fleet, Feature Exhibition for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, UTAC art lounge, May 3 – May 31. The exhibition received a University of Toronto Arts Council Launch Pad Award. 2011        Walking the Ward: The Evolution of Nursing in Hamilton, curated by Lindsay Bontoft, Berrit Larsen, and Megan O’Connor, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, Hamilton, April 29 – May 30. 2011          Transitory Art: From Warhol to Nannucci, curated by Jennifer Winter and Laura Bydlowska, Drake General Store, April 1 – 30. 2011           Sanaugaq: Things Made by Hand, curated by Lisa Truong, Rheanne Chartrand, Lianne Maitland, and Rebecca Noone, UTAC, March 31 – April 16. 2011         Earthly Inspirations: The Process and Expression of Craft, curated by Michael Devaney, Zhou Yan, and Trish Terrill Small, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1: International and United States departure lounges, April 16 – October 3. 2011         Work in Process, curated by Jilana Stewart, Sarah Heim, and Rachel Keeling, UTAC art lounge, March 3 – 21. Podcast: Work in Process, January 11, 2011. ( 2011          Have you met Bachata?, curated by Jana Awad and Cynthia Roberts, Wilson Hall, New College, March 25 – April 8. 2011           The Difference Engineers: Re-Inventing Steampunk, curated by Grace Lam Samantha Morel, and Catherine Woltz, !dea Gallery, Ontario Science Centre, March 4 – May 1. 2011            Sugar and Spice, curated by Kendra Ainsworth, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, January 28 – May 1. 2010             Probing McLuhan, curated by Seanna McEachern and Rebecca Lemire, Feature Exhibition for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, UTAC art lounge, May 1 – 29. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. 2010        The House that Masons Built, curated by Melissa Koziebrockie, 53 Prince Charles Drive, Toronto, May 8 – 21. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. 2010         Acadian to Cajun: Forced Migration to Commercialization, curated by Alicia Cherayil, Zella Llerena, and Erin Orford, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans, April 30 – August 30. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter.  A version of this exhibition has been made part of the permanent exhibit Louisiana Eats! at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. 2010       More Than Flesh: Embodiment of Abstraction, curated by Valentine Moreno, UTAC, April 1 –17. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. 2010        Exploring the Toy Box, curated by Caryn DeBuck, Robin Dow, Milena McCormack, Alexandra Pearcey, and Heidi Schmeiser, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1: Malton Gallery and International departure lounge, April 1 – May 19. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. 2010       Beyond the White Wedding: Reinventing Tradition, curated by Marla Dobson, Nicola Jago, and Thomas Kessler, Robarts Library, University of Toronto, March 25 – May 13. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. 2010         ArtiFACTS of Belief: The Collection of Charles Denison Aldridge, curated by Carri MacKay, Yael Filipovic, and Erika Wilson, UTAC art lounge, February 19 – April 3. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. Yael Filipovic, “Schooling the Gallery: Turning Towards Educational Frameworks in Curatorial Practices,” Collections: A journal for museum and archives professional" (Altamira press) Spring 2012. 2009       Melodies of Kachemak Bay: A Celebration of our Musical Traditions, curated by Robi Harris, Pratt Museum, Homer, Alaska, November 13 – December 31. Co-supervised with Jennifer Carter. 2009      Facing the Screen, curated by Bogdan Luca, UTAC art lounge, November 4 – December 19.


Exhibition Related Project Supervision

2014-15      Alexandra Jeffrey, Blair Newby, Brittney Sproule, Jaime Clifton-Ross, Mackenzie Warner, Marie Dressler House Revitalization Plan, Marie Dressler House, Cobourg. Project: Masterplan for remounting of permanent exhibit including project budget, curriculum guidelines, and a sample grant proposal. 2013-14        Melissa Smith, Toronto Art Project, Art Gallery of Ontario. Project: creating labeling strategies, social media engagement, audio visual elements, to highlight Toronto artists in the collection. 2013-14        Kayla Droog, Visitor Research Project, Royal Ontario Museum. Project: assessing visitor mobile technology use at the museum. 2012-13      Elyse Rogers, iPad Interactions, Art Gallery of Ontario. Project: developing iPad tours for AGO docents. 2012-13       Bruce Beaton and Shannon Todd, Graffiti Works: 1989-2008, Evergreen Brickworks. Project: an interpretive plan for the Graffiti at the Brickworks. 2012-13      Patricia MacAulay, Doris McCarthy’s Canada, Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough. Project: podcast on the life and work of Doris McCarthy. 2012-13        Natalie Charette, Jennie Fiddes, Katrina Lougheed and Caitlin Tracey-Miller, The Kidspark Project, Ontario Science Centre. Project: documenting children’s engagement with science through art. 2011-12       Jennifer Rose, Docent Training for the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox. Project: Designing and implementing a docent training program for the Bell Lightbox’s exhibition programs. 2011-12       Jason Harvey, Immersive Sound Experiences. Project: creating a plan for including immersive sound experiences at Fort York Historic Site to complement the commemoration of the War of 1812. 2011-12       Jacquie Reich and Laura Robb, Multi-Sensory Tours at the Bata Shoe Museum. Project: designing and implementing multi-sensory tours for three exhibits at the Bata Shoe Museum. 2011-12     Annika Laufer, Canadian War Museum Shipping. Project: arranging and overseeing shipping for deinstallation of War and Medicine exhibition and installation of Four Wars of 1812 exhibtion.   2010-11      Mairin Kerr, ROM Project Management Project, Project: securing image permissions for the Eaton Gallery of Rome and the Near East, the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium, and the Nubia section of the Galleries of Africa. 2009-10     Rebecca Lemire, The Dora de Pedery Hunt Cataloging Project. Project: an illustrated catalogue of the estate of Canadian artist and designer Dora de Pedery Hunt.


Year joined the iSchool: 
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