News

Museum Studies: A new minor and a major exhibition

Museum Studies is both a new minor at Ursinus College, and the title of an art exhibition that sheds light on the inner workings of a museum. An eclectic group of area museum professionals gather March 18 to offer “insider information.”

Learn (quickly) about the inner workings of a museum. Paired with the  current exhibition Museum Studies, the Berman Museum of Art presents an evening of “Lightning Talks” by local museum professionals, March 18 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Museum on the Ursinus College campus. The presentations, each clocking in at under six minutes, will informally offer information and anecdotes from leaders at the region’s museums.

Lightning Talks participants include David Mickenberg, Director, Allentown Art  Museum, Allentown, Pa; Sean Wells, Exhibitions Manager, James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pa.; Morgan Little, Registrar for the Collections, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pa.; Rachel Wetzel, Photographic Conservator, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Marcy Engleman, Educator, The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, Pa.

The exhibition Museum Studies, on view until April 3, curated by Berman Museum Director Charles Stainback, brings together artwork by influential contemporary artists, all of whom find inspiration in the vocabulary, procedures, and conventions of museum practice. 

The artists in Museum Studies explore aspects of the museum’s functionality that generally remain out-of-sight or unacknowledged – the wooden shipping crate, the salient information affixed to the backs of paintings, the obtuse language used in art publications, and the conservation and repair of artworks. Taken as a whole, the works on view in the exhibition pull back the curtain on running an art museum.

The artists featured are Joe Amrhein, Richard Artschwager, Don Celender, Thomas Demand, David Diao, Alicia Framis, Elliott Erwitt, Louise Lawler, Glenn Ligon, Julian Montague, Vik Muniz, and David Shapiro. (Information on the art works and artists included available.)

The faculty approved a new minor of the same name, Museum Studies, at its January 2015 faculty meeting. It involves new and existing courses, and an internship.

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, 601 E. Main St., Collegeville, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission to the Berman Museum is always free. It is accessible to visitors with disabilities.