Fall 2006

Faculty: Sally Cloninger and Virginia Darney

Ever want to just get lost in a museum?

Museums display the past, and they also display the ways we think about the past. Museums are therefore contested spaces where we "argue" differing interpretations of the past and the meaning of artifacts. Museums will explore the contested nature of museum displays: of art, natural history, history, and technology.

How can we represent the past? What are museums for? Whom are they for? What can we learn from the study of a museum exhibit? Does it matter if we see Michelangelo's Pieta in person or on the web or on in Janson's The History of Art ? How do virtual museums represent the past?

For the first six weeks of fall quarter we will prepare for our individual field study of a museum. We will study visual representation, culture, digital and visual theory, documentation, museology, drawing and observation, through a series of workshops, lectures, readings, field trips, and practical assignments.

During Weeks Seven and Eight everyone in the program will conduct in-depth field studies at a specific museum anywhere in the world:   From Paducah to Paris! From Anchorage to Ankara!   Back on campus we will all present our museum projects to the program.

How will each of us choose where we each want to do our field studies? Maybe a place (a favorite city, a country, or your home town) will lead you to a museum. Maybe one of your passions (a love of painting, flying, science fiction, anime, literature, history etc.) will inspire your choice. In any case we will ask you to identify your choice for your field study by the end of Week Three.

Credit awarded in : Visual Communication, Cultural Studies, Museum Field Studies

Total: 16