For Students

Related Programs: Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s

On view October 17, 2015–January 31, 2016

Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s provides a fresh look at the art of the pivotal decade between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. The exhibition, whose title references the 1992 Nirvana song (considered by many an anthem for the decade), focuses on three principal themes—debates over “identity politics,” the digital revolution, and globalization—is the first major museum survey to examine the art of this pivotal decade.

Join us for these upcoming programs including a lecture by exhibition curator Alexandra Schwartz, informal gallery experiences, concerts, and more. All programs are free and open to the public. Some require advance registration.

2015 Doris Sloan Memorial Lecture:
with curator Alexandra Schwartz: 

Friday October 23, 5:307pm
Helmut Stern Auditorium

Join exhibition curator Alexandra Schwartz for an exploration of the themes of the show, namely identity politics, the digital revolution, and globalization. She will also consider the diverse ways in which the developments of the 1990s—the ongoing culture wars, issues of artistic freedom and censorship, the impact of new media, and the increase of artists of color, women artists, and LGBT artists—redefined contemporary approaches to artistic practice and, in her words, “writes a history of the ’90s through the lens of the visual arts.”

Alexandra Schwartz is the founding Curator of Contemporary Art at the Montclair Art Museum. Previous curatorial projects included Museum of Modern Art exhibitions Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, and Modern Women: Single Channel at MoMA PS1. She is the author of Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles (MIT Press, 2010). An editor and contributor to numerous publications, Schwartz has taught at Columbia University and the University of Michigan, and in the Education Departments at MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She received an AB from Harvard University and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Browse the exhibition and enjoy light refreshments after the program.

Established through the generosity of Dr. Herbert Sloan, the annual Doris Sloan Memorial Lecture honors one of the Museum’s most ardent friends and supporters, Doris Sloan, a long-time UMMA docent.

Gallery Programs for Adults and Families

In Conversation: Self as Story: 
Embodying Art in the Gallery​

Sunday November 1, 34pm
A. Alfred Taubman Gallery

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.
What is the self and who gets to define it? This was an important concern of artists in the decade between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. Join U-M Professor of Theatre and Drama Anita Gonzalez for a theatrical exploration of the artwork in UMMA’s exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s. Participants will use gesture to investigate and respond to visual images, highlighting personal and political meanings embedded in the work. Gonzalez will lead a discussion linking experiences of the gallery artwork to larger trends of the decade.

Anita Gonzalez is Professor of Theatre and Drama at the University of Michigan where she leads the Global Theatre and Ethnic Studies Minor. Her research and publication interests are in the fields of intercultural performance, particularly the way in which performance reveals histories and identities in the Americas and in transnational contexts.

In Conversation: Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s
Sunday, January 24, 3 – 4pm
A. Alfred Taubman Gallery I

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.

Although art in the last 150 years or so has moved away from the noble, narrative, and beautiful content of the Italian Renaissance, many museum patrons still expect and hope to see sublime oil paintings when they visit the galleries. Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s presents an opportunity to explore features of contemporary art that challenge old esthetic hierarchies using all variety of new materials that relate to—sometimes celebrating, often challenging—life in the late 20th/early 21st century, and that create connections between diverse communities. In this program, Pam Reister, Curator for Museum Teaching and Learning, will lead a conversation with participants about the wonderful and perplexing nature of contemporary art.

Storytime at the Museum
Saturday, January 30, 11:15am–12 pm

Children ages four to seven are invited to hear a story in the galleries. Stories will be followed by a short activity responding to the art on display. Parents must accompany children. Siblings are welcome to join the group. The story this week will introduce children to UMMA’s exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s followed by a brief hands-on activityMeet in front of the UMMA Store.

Storytime is generously supported by the University of Michigan Credit Union, UMMA's Lead Sponsor for Student and Family Engagement. 



SMTD@UMMA: The Performance Project
Thursday November 19, 7pm
Museum Apse

The artist Nikki S. Lee is best known for her snapshot style photographs in which she appears as a performer in various American subcultures, taking on startlingly different identities. Inspired by two of her works on view at UMMA, the departments of Vocal Performance and Dance join forces to consider the meaning of taking on a role. Led by professors Caroline Helton and Jessica Fogel, vocal students perform operatic excerpts, inhabiting characters from famous operas.  Interspersed with the vocal performances, dance students and alumni present solos in which they take on unique personae. Lee's work Paris [206] is the featured work of In Focus, UMMA's showcase of recently acquired work. Her work Hispanic Project (25) is included in UMMA's exhibition of Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s.

The photograph Paris [206] by Nikki S. Lee was recently gifted to UMMA by Director's Acquisition Committee members Kammi (BA '89) and Brad Reiss.

SMTD@UMMA: All Hail Me
Thursday, January 21, 8pm
Museum Apse

U-M Composers, influenced by the 1990s exploration of identity and self-definition, present new works rooted in popular music, politics, gender identity, and ethnicity in conjunction with the exhibition Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s.

The SMTD@UMMA performance series is generously supported by the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund and the Greg Hodes and Heidi Hertel Hodes—Partners in the Arts Endowment Fund.​

Student Programs and Symposia

Come as You Are: Student Late Night at UMMA
Thursday October 22, 8–11 pm

Organized by U-M students for U-M students, and inspired by UMMA’s exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, the 7th annual Student Late Night event at UMMA will be a fun-filled creative extravaganza featuring '90s-themed art-making activities, original performances, '90s jams courtesy of WCBN DJs, a photo booth, free food, and more.

Hosted by the UMMA Student Programming and Advisory Council, Student Late Night is generously supported by the University of Michigan Credit Union, UMMA's Lead Sponsor for

Student and Family Engagement, and co-sponsored by Arts at Michigan and WCBN 


U-M History of Art Symposium
"The Things You Own End Up Owning You: Art in the 1990s"

Saturday October 24, 2015
Helmut Stern Auditorium

This symposium explores art in the 1990s from a variety of different perspectives.  Participants, including Come as You Are exhibition curator Alexandra Schwartz, have been selected to represent the diversity and range of art of the period. They include both those who came of age in the 1990s as well as those whose professional careers took root amidst the struggles over multiculturalism, freedom of expression, and personal choice in the 1980s. Please visit our online program calendar for more information and a list of participants.

This symposium is organized and presented by the U-M History of Art Department and co-sponsored by UMMA.

Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s is organized by the Montclair Art Museum and curated by Alexandra Schwartz, curator of contemporary art, with Kimberly Siino, curatorial assistant. This exhibition is made possible with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the University of Michigan Health System. Additional support is provided by Samantha and Ross Partrich, Andrea and Joel Brown, the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, Department of the History of Art, Residential College, and Department of American Culture.