As part of an ongoing partnership with the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, students in Professor Joe Lucchesi’s Art History methodology seminar are developing semester-long research projects using paintings, sculptures, and prints from the SMCM Fine Art Collection. These objects were created by artists who are also represented in the Archives’ Research Collections, so this unique partnership gives students an opportunity to conduct primary source research and incorporate primary documents into the foundations of their visual and critical analysis of their assigned works of art.
Museum Studies minor Taylor Schafer, ‘15, the 2014 Sullivan Scholar, spent the summer interning in the SMCM archives. In addition to her duties in the archives, she interviewed St. Mary’s alums about their time at the college. Her aim was to contribute further to the “Slackwater” publication. “Slackwater” is a consortium of students, faculty, and community members focused on documenting and interpreting the region’s changing landscapes. She writes about her experiences on the SMCM library blog, “Beyond the Bookshelves”.
Giselle Rahn’s SMP describes the results of her comprehensive survey of archaeological collections policies across the nation. Rahn contacted the nation’s State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to document how states and tribes manage their archaeological collections. Using written questionnaires and ongoing follow-up, Rahn achieved a high response rate. Her research found that archaeological collections are managed in one of two ways: either very well, or not well at all. Further, the investment in archaeological collections management did not seem to correlate with a state’s wealth, geographical location, or political leaning (red versus blue state, as measured in the 2004 presidential election). Rahn recently presented the results of her research at the annual Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology meetings held in St. Mary’s City.
Archaeological collections management is a growing field. More and more Federal, state, and tribal agencies are taking responsibility for the collections in their custody. In Maryland, archaeological collections are curated at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory right here in southern Maryland. Click here for more information on the MAC Lab, its programs, and how you can get involved.
Interested in learning more about archaeological collections policies and the results of Rahn’s research? Rahn’s SMP is available in the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Archives (contact Kat Ryner at email@example.com).
Curator George Ciscle of the Maryland Institute College of Art understands museums first and foremost as community spaces. In residence at the Artist House this spring, Prof. Ciscle and students will explore ways to connect gallery programming to the college and local communities. Focusing on the upcoming Boyden Art Gallery exhibition, Placing Color, readings, research, and fieldwork will center on previous audience-focused exhibitions as a theoretical and practical foundation to develop and implement outreach programs. For more information on this course or the other programs built around Prof. Ciscle’s residency, contact Joe Lucchesi at firstname.lastname@example.org