This past spring, Smith College Museum of Art students had a chance to curate an exhibition for the museum. Students in Professor Amanda Gilvin’s introductory African Art class worked with SCMA staff to select objects from the Museum’s African collection and write wall labels for the exhibition, “Transformations in African Art.” A video describing the exhibition and the student’s experience is on the Smith College Museum of Art Website.
Aside from working closely with objects and learning experientially, students have the opportunity to work behind-the-scenes at the museum and understand “the power that the institution has in shaping the interpretation around an object or culture,” says SCMA Associate Director of Academic Programming and Public Education Maggie Lind. “It’s great for students to get a better sense of how museums function…regardless of if they are going to work in a museum. It’s about being a really informed museumgoer.”
Image: screengrab from the video "A Teaching Museum: Smith College Museum of Art."