Fall 2006

Ever want to just get lost in a museum?



What is considered a Museum?

In 1974 the International Council of Museums (ICOM) defined a museum as "a non-profit making permanent institution in the service of society and its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of man and his environment."

A comparable definition was implemented by the Museums Services Act of 1977:   "a public or private non-profit agency or institution organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or esthetic purposes which utilizing a professional staff, owns or utilizes tangible objects, cares for them, and exhibits them to the public on a regular basis."

So as long as the museum I choose fits this definition I can assume that it will be appropriate for a field study?

That's correct.

How can I decide which museum to study ?

That's a tough one:   you'll want to consider your own passions (the role of Barbie in women's lives?   The development of the airplane?   The history and appreciation of photography?), and look for a museum to satisfy those passions.   Or, alternately, you might think of a city you want to explore and look for a museum in it.   The choice is yours.  

Can I choose a virtual museum for my field study?

No, although you certainly can investigate and analyze your museum's on-line resources if applicable.

Can I travel to a museum in another country?

Of course, as long as you prepare a proposal with a project rationale and complete Evergreen's requirements for international study.   Follow these links to the Evergreen web page for more specific information.

When will I have to make up my mind about my choice for a museum to study?

By the end of Week Three, but sooner is better especially if overseas travel is involved.   (We said Week One in the catalog description but later realized that we all may need a bit more time.)  

When exactly will the field studies occur?

Our last class before we all begin our museum field studies is Friday, November 3.   On-campus classes will resume on Wednesday, November 29.   This period includes Thanksgiving Break (November 20-24).   Your field study must include two weeks of on-site research.  

Can I take a language course while enrolled in Museums?

Yes, if it is related to your field study proposal but remember, you will be off campus for two weeks during the quarter and this may conflict with the academic requirements in a language class.

Do I need to be fluent in a language to propose an international museum field study?

No, but it certainly is helpful and we recommend that you make some effort to work on your language skills before the class begins if you hope to travel to another country.

What is a field study of a museum?

A field study is a systematic investigation of a museum that includes on-site research as well as written and visual documentation. During Weeks 1-6 we will be examining many issues about museums (how they are defined, the politics of collection, how to analyze visual images, how to document space and placement of objects, etc.)   At the end of this period all of us will have a set of assignments that we will need to incorporate into our field studies.   When we return to campus in Week Nine, faculty and students will be preparing multimedia presentations that communicate our findings.   These will be presented to the entire program in Week Ten.

What is the class schedule?

Link to our schedule.

How can I reach the faculty?

Link to Faculty


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