Exhibits & Projects
Ever wanted to curate an exhibition? Work side-by-side with a museum professional to develop a program or educational resource? Dig deep into a collection of art and artifacts? Or just have fun participating in the local cultural scene? Museums and Society students have many opportunities like these, both in the classroom and outside it.
In 2011, a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recognized the Program for its unique offerings with a grant that is supporting seven museum-based projects with institutions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. This grant was renewed in 2013 as part of a larger program in support of the arts and humanities at Hopkins. Projects underway involve work with living collections, historic cityscapes, artist's books, and more.
See below for a list of projects...and think about what you might like to try this semester.
Exhibits and Projects Online:
- JHU Collections Web developed by undergraduates enrolled in the M&S course "21st Century Approaches to Material Culture."
- Art on the Move (Walters Art Museum)
- An article about the project is in the journal Archive.
- Multimedia Features for Mellon-funded project Print by Print: Series from Dürer to Lichtenstein (BMA)
- The Archaeology of Daily Life (JHU Archaeological Museum)
- Audio Tour for Treasures of Heaven (Walters Art Museum); direct links to three sample stops here:
- Video for Decades of Change: Alice Garrett and the Theatre, 1900-1952 (JHU Evergreen Museum and Library)
- The Authority of Ruins (JHU Milton S. Eisenhower Library)
- Close Looking at Rinaldo and Armida (BMA)
- Video for Its a Man's World: Collections of the Male Garretts (JHU Evergreen Museum and Library)
A Sense of Place: Homewood Campus
Homewood Campus, Johns Hopkins University, 2014-2015 Academic Year
In Beth Maloney's spring 2014 course, "Interpreting Collections: An Introduction to Museum Education," M&S students explored the history of the Homewood campus alongside experts in heritage studies. In the hands-on, exploratory course, they developed ten interpretive signs for display on campus which represent stories of the people who lived and worked there in the past. The signage will be produced through a partnership with environmental design students at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and an on-line component will share their work beyond campus. This project is made possible through a grant to Museums and Society by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The outdoor signage will be on view, for one year, throughout the Homewood campus beginning fall 2014.
- Check out the Hopkins Retrospective for more information.
Surrealism at Mid-Century
Milton E. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, M-Level, April to June 2014
This exhibition was developed and curated by students in Dr. Molly Warnock's History of Art course, "Surrealism," and features journals produced between the late 1930s and the early 1950s in Paris, London, New York, and Mexico. Meet the student curators and learn more about a movement that remains influential in art and literature at the opening on April 25, 2014, from 4-7pm. The student curators worked diligently to shed light on Surrealism's global reach in the middle part of the 20th century. The periodicals on view in this exhibition served as social media does today, linking the Surrealist intellectuals in Europe and the Americas and spreading the word.
Workin' the Tease: The Art of Baltimore's Burlesque
Modell Lyric Opera House, May 5 and May 7, 2014
Museums and Society student, Erin (Gloria) You, recently participated in a two-semester project through MICA's Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) class, which resulted in an exhibition titled, Workin' the Tease: The Art of Baltimore's Burlesque.
The purpose of the show was to celebrate the renewal of Burlesque in Baltimore through the surge of Neo-Burlesque performers who have arrived to Baltimore and transformed it into one of the central hubs of Neo-Burlesque.
The project consisted of both an opening night of performances called "Best of Baltimore", in which 15 Baltimore-based Burlesque performers performed acts on the Lyric Opera House stage, and an exhibition that featured the historical Burlesque artifacts, artifacts donated by the performers, a series of photographs from Sean Scheidt's Burlesque series, and Globe Letterpress posters made specifically for the exhibition. The opening night was a one-time ticketed event that happened on April 22, 2014 from 7-10pm. The exhibition was held at the Modell Lyric Opera House on Monday, May 5 and Wednesday, May 7th.
Motifs in Jewish Art
Hillel, Fall 2013- Fall 2014
Contrary to the Second Commandment, which forbids the creation and worship of a carved-image, or false god or icon, Jewish art does, in fact, exist. Textual, archaeological and art historical sources attest to the vibrant and creative artistic traditions of the Jewish people, which is even referenced and revered in both the Torah and in the Talmud. Motifs in Jewish Art is the 5th in an annual series of student-curated exhibitions focusing on the Henry Sonneborn Collection. This exhibition will be on display for a year at Hillel. If you are interested in the Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Internship or other museum opportunities offered through the Program in Museums and Society, you can find more information here.
A Tale of Two Houses: Homewood, Clifton & Historic Preservation
Homewood Museum, Johns Hopkins University, December 10, 2013 - May 25, 2014
Curated by students from Johns Hopkins University, this exhibition of photographs, maps, manuscripts, furniture, and objects related to the Carroll, Thompson, Hopkins, Wyman, and Keyser families weaves side-by-side histories of the houses over three centuries and explores their different circumstances today. Come and explore the fascinating stories of several of Baltimore first families.
In Focus: Ara Güler's Anatolia
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C., December 14, 2013 - May 4, 2014
Students in Museums and Society's Spring 2013 course, Photographs on the Edge, are pleased to invite you to their student-curated exhibition of Ara Güler's Anatolia. Güler is famous for his iconic photographs of Istanbul in the 1950s and 1960s. This exhibit presents never-before-shown photographs of important Anatolian monuments. These challenge Güler's definition of himself as a photojournalist, not an artist, and engage visitors in a critical debate about whether photography is an art form or a means of documentation. You can find more information here on the Sackler Gallery website.
- Read more in the JHU Gazette.
Herbert Hasseltine: Sculptor of the Modern Age
Main Library, Evergreen Museum and Library, Johns Hopkins University, March 10 - May 26, 2013
As the Annual Student Curator at Evergreen Museum and Library, Museums and Society minor Chloé Pelletier (class of 2013) curated the show, which offers an intimate look at the renowned artist through the friendship he maintained with Ambassador John Work Garrett and his wife Alice. Displayed in Evergreen's Main Library (originally designed to display two of Haseltine's sculptures), the exhibition brings together works from the museum's and private collections, letters between Haseltine and the Garretts, and the artist's unpublished memoir. For more on the annual student curatorship at Evergreen Museum, please visit Museums and Society's resources and internship page (here).
Please Touch: An Interactive Study
Q-level, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, January 30 - May 26, 2013
Behavioral Biology major and Museums and Society minor Hannah Weinberg-Wolf (class of 2013) worked with the Hsiao Lab and Program in Museums and Society to develop the first ever exhibition on the Johns Hopkins University campus that aims not only to communicate cutting-edge research taking place at the university, but also to gather scientific data. The exhibit considers how tactile and visual aesthetics work in the brain by asking visitors to share their aesthetic judgment of a variety of objects on view. Objects rotate periodically. The exhibit was inspired by the show "Touch and the Enjoyment of Sculpture" at the Walters Art Museum in the Spring of 2012 and is at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library's former Café Q, a space currently under consideration as a potential future on-campus gallery. Read an article about the show in JHU's The HUB here and in the JHU newsletter here.
Homewood Museum, Johns Hopkins University, December 4, 2012 - May 26, 2013
Students in the annual practicum course offered in conjunction with Homewood Museum ("Curating Homewood") curated a show of prints and original works of art recording the landmarks, landscapes, and historical moments of the nineteenth-century Baltimore. On loan from the private collection of Stiles Tuttle Colwill, this selection provides context for Homewood and includes extremely rare states of familiar prints as well as original works of art such as images of the Washington and Battle monuments from a sailor's sketchbook. An 1814 schoolgirl embroidery of the Baltimore Basilica supposes the intended appearance of the structure which wasn't actually completed until 1821.
- Read about exciting historical happenings at Homewood Museum and the M&S course "Introduction to Material Culture" (now AS.389.261 "Curating Homewood") here.
Hodson Hall, Johns Hopkins University, October 17 - December 17, 2012
Chizuk Amuno, December 17, 2012 - January 28, 2013
Enoch Pratt Main Branch, January 28 - March 11, 2013
Beth El Congregation, March 12 - May 6, 2013
The second of four Mellon-funded collaborations between the Program in Museums and Society and a local museum, the Spring 2012 course "Staging Suburbia" invited students to work as public historians alongside Jewish Museum of Maryland curators and staff, researching primary documents and artifacts to develop a traveling exhibition about Baltimore’s Jewish suburbs. Through an intensive semester studying the history of post-war Baltimore, students helped select the themes and objects, wrote text for the show, and blogged about their experiences.
- Read the blog with contributions by JHU student Evan Fowler and Museums and Society minor Molly Martel
- Read the article in the JHU Arts & Sciences Magazine
- Read more in the Baltimore Sun.
To Glorify and To Sanctify: The Crown Motif in Jewish Ritual and Art
Hillel, Fall 2012- Fall 2013
In this exhibition Gabrielle Barr (class of 2012) explores the significance of the crown as a motif in Jewish culture from the rabbinic period to the present. Exploring both textual and visual sources, the show considers the crown's multivalent meaning in ritual and spiritual contexts, and in religious as well as secular spheres whether as a marker of kingship, a sign of the priesthood, or a symbol in marriage. As the fourth annual Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Intern Gabrielle researched and assembled objects from the Henry Sonneborn Collection. The exhibition will be on display for a year at Hillel. If you are interested in the Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Internship or other museum opportunities offered through the Program in Museums and Society, you can find more information here.
Homewood Museum, Johns Hopkins University, February 3, 2012 - April 29, 2013
Homewood Museum's seventh annual student-curated show explores the culture of food, farming and festivity in nineteenth-century Maryland. The exhibit takes a closer look at agricultural and gardening practices, as well as food preservation, preparation and presentation. It examines cookbooks, implements, tools and images from the period. This project emerged from the work of Johns Hopkins students in the fall 2011 course Introduction to Material Culture taught by Homewood Museum director-curator Catherine Rogers Arthur. They discovered, among other things, evidence for an early form of community supported agriculture (CSA) in Baltimore.
Print by Print: Series from Dürer to Lichtenstein
Baltimore Museum of Art, October 30, 2011 - March 25, 2012
The first of four Mellon-funded collaborations between the Program in Museums and Society and a local museum, the Spring 2011 course "Paper Museums: Exhibiting Prints at the BMA" brought students into the Baltimore Museum of Art to work alongside Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs Rena Hoisington. Through an intensive semester studying the history of print-making, researching prints from the BMA's permanent collection, discussing issues and ideas about serialization, and working directly with works of art, students helped select the themes and objects, wrote text, and brainstormed programming for an exhibit of over 350 prints, many of which have never been exhibited before.
- Reviews in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun
- Check out this cover story in Johns Hopkins Arts & Sciences Magazine
Choreography in Color: The Art of Zelda Fitzgerald
Evergreen Museum and Library, October 19, 2011 - January 29, 2012
Awarded the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship in her freshman year, M&S minor Laura Somenzi (class of 2013) took the lead in curating the exhibit Choreography in Color: The Art of Zelda Fitzgerald with the steadfast support and mentorship of James Archer Abbott, Director and Curator of Evergreen Museum and Elizabeth Rodini, Director of the Program in Museums and Society. Through two years of sustained research and study of Zelda Fitzgerald's art, literary writings and diaries, Somenzi peered through Fitzgerald's image as the definitive flapper and revealed her both as an artist longing for recognition and a representative of a broader pervasive struggle for social equality. Somenzi worked through every aspect of the curatorial process from research and conceptualization to loan requests and photo permissions, to crafting the final presentation and writing the text for the exhibit and its accompanying catalog. On October 13, 2011 JHU's Rising blog featured Somenzi and her project.
From Sacred to Secular: Collecting and Caring for Judaica
Hillel, Fall 2011- Fall 2012
In this exhibition, Emily Carambelas (class of 2011) considers how museums balance their mission with religious instructions regarding the preservation, interpretation and display of sacred objects. Jewish tradition offers strict guidelines regarding the use and treatment of Judaica at different points in objects' lifecycles. As the third annual Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Intern Emily researched and assembled objects from the Henry Sonneborn Collection. The exhibition will be on display for a year at Hillel. The catalogue for the exhibit is here. If you are interested in the Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Internship, you can find more information here.
In the Spring of 2011, eight Johns Hopkins undergraduates worked closely with Dr. Hérica Valladares in the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Museum to explore an expanding, complex field of study – the archaeology of everyday life in the Greco-Roman world. The course resulted in an online exhibition and catalog of twenty-four little known and mostly unpublished artifacts from the museum’s collection. Students investigated two related categories of objects: those designed for daily use, and those that represent ancient daily life. The pieces they selected for the catalog explore five main topics: childhood, private pleasures, female beauty, jewelry and “Tanagras” - modern terracotta sculptures produced in the style of Classical and Hellenistic works of art that offer insight into the reception of Classical art in the Victorian era.
Homewood Museum, February 4th-April 17th 2011
Homewood Museum's sixth annual student-curated show explored how young Baltimoreans were instructed in cultural activities including music, dance, literature, fine art, and civility in the early 19th century. These five elements were thought to embody a complete education and were often introduced to young students through parental instruction, printed materials, tutors, and specialized schools. The exhibition drew from Carroll family correspondence, rare books, and other period items. An accompanying display located on the main level of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, adjacent to Homewood Museum, featured objects from the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. This project emerged from the work of Johns Hopkins students in the fall 2010 course Introduction to Material Culture taught by Homewood Museum director-curator Catherine Rogers Arthur.
Evergreen Museum & Library, March 6th – May 29th, 2011
Organized by Museums and Society senior and Evergreen Student Curator Kit Harris, The Art of Diplomacy: The Garretts in Rome focused on the years that John and Alice Garrett were in Rome while John was the US Ambassador to Italy. The show explored how the Garretts used their status within Roman society to further an exchange between the art worlds of the two nations. Kit’s responsibilities included researching the history of the Garrett family, selecting objects to tell their story, writing text panels, and organizing the museum space.
Kit shared, “I focused on the ways in which [the Garretts] both used their position within Roman society and the great resource of the Embassy to promote a cultural exchange between Italy and America. I highlighted paintings in the collection that they collected while in Italy. I also pulled a lot of great materials from the archives at MSE, from both John's personal and professional papers and Alice's papers. I installed little "vignettes" throughout the house, each one a story in and of itself, which all told together showed how much the Garretts worked for the cause of art and culture.”
The Walters Art Museum, February 13th, 2011 - May 15th, 2011
In fall 2010 students in the Museums and Society course Walking with Reliquaries had the chance to work with The Walters Art Museum Associate Curator Martina Bagnoli on the audio tour for the exhibition Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe. The students scripted the tour, each selecting two or three objects from the exhibition checklist to research in depth. Throughout the semester participants in the course gave presentations on their findings, which ultimately became the audio guide. The students are featured alongside the curator and the "official" narrator in the tour so that many voices are brought to bear in the interpretation of the reliquaries.
You can listen to three stops here:
Reading the Peabody
Eisenhower Library, M-level, Fall 2010- January 21st, 2011
Fairy tales, religious texts, wilderness adventures, and ancient Roman histories line the shelves of the illustrious George Peabody Library, but what do they have in common? The exhibition Reading the Peabody: Student Discoveries in Baltimore’s First Public Library explored how 19th century readers might have used the rich holdings of the library's collection. Curated by Gabrielle Dean and her students from the Spring 2010 course Reading Culture in the 19th Century Library, the exhibition was devoted to these four facets of the library’s holdings.
Dr. Dean plans to turn this exhibition into an on-line project in the future, via a digital platform currently in development in the library. An article about the project, entitled “Teaching by the Book: The Culture of Reading in the George Peabody Library," is in Past is Portal: Teaching Undergraduates Using Special Collections and Archives (Baltimore, 2012).
Evergreen Museum & Library, December 9th 2010 - January 30th, 2011
Butterflies, stained glass windows, and illuminated manuscripts inspired the handcrafted books displayed at the Evergreen Museum & Library. The exhibition Evergreen as Muse showcased books containing original art and writing created by students in the fall 2010 course Artist in the Museum: Making Books. The class was co-taught by James Abbott, Curator of the Evergreen Museum & Library, and Phyllis Berger, Supervisor of the Photography Program in the Homewood Art Workshops. Students were introduced to the concept of books as art. As a final project they created their own artist's books inspired by the collections at the George Peabody Library, the Walters Art Museum, Evergreen Museum & Library, The JHU Library collection of artist's books, and the artist book collection of Edgar and Betty Sweren. Some students combined their own poetry with their images, others illustrated fairy tales, and others created narrative stories. If you are interested in similar opportunities, you can find our course listing here.
Additional images from the show are available here.
The Five Senses and Jewish Ritual Objects
Hillel, Fall 2010- Fall 2011
The role of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste in Jewish ritual tradition is explored in Suzanne Gold’s (’10) student-curated exhibition The Five Senses and Jewish Ritual Objects. The exhibition examines how ceremonial objects mediate religious experience through the activation of particular senses—for example the glimmer of light off polished silver, the aroma of rich incense, the sound issued from instruments, the smooth pulp of the Torah, and the taste of sweet wine. As the Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Intern Suzanne researched and assembled objects from the Henry Sonneborn Collection. The exhibition will be on display for a year at Hillel. If you are interested in the Sonneborn Collection Curatorial Internship, you can find more information here.
Baltimore's Billy Baldwin
Evergreen Museum & Library, May 20-October 24, 2010
Furniture, textiles, fine art, and photographs illustrate the professional evolution of Baltimore-born William "Billy" Baldwin (1903–1983), probably the most ingenious of 20th-century interior designers. Students in the spring 2010 Museums and Society course Curating Culture at Evergreen worked with museum director and curator James Abbott to research and put together this exhibition dedicated to Baldwin's lengthy and influential career. Baldwin, the so-called dean of American decorators, introduced a more relaxed design sensibility, one based on practical principles that could be followed by anyone. The exhibition focuses attention on Baldwin's life-long pride in his Baltimore origins, and includes vignettes representing three of his Maryland-based commissions that show the development of his now-iconic design vocabulary.
Baltimore's Billy Baldwin is the second in a series of courses and exhibitions dedicated to exploring Modernism at Evergreen. The exhibition and its accompanying publication were made possible by The Richard C. Von Hess Foundation.
Evergreen Museum and Library, February 28-April 25, 2010
Arts patron and philanthropist Alice Warder Garrett (1877–1952) held a lifelong passion for the performing arts; she attended plays frequently, collecting some 400 playbills and souvenir programs over five decades, and enjoyed entertaining friends, family, and her husband's diplomatic colleagues with song and dance performances in Evergreen's Léon Bakst-designed theatre. This focus show features key playbills from Mrs. Garrett's collection and examples of her "notes to self" on costumes and stage sets, illuminating how theatre provided a means of self-expression, and even self-definition, separate but parallel to her role as ambassador's wife.
Decades of Change was organized by 2009 Evergreen Museum & Library student curator and Museums and Society minor Suzanne Gold, '10. The exhibition was made possible by the Evergreen House Foundation and the Maryland State Arts Council. If you are interested in applying for the annual student curatorship position, you can find more information here.
Members of the fall 2009 course "Introduction to Material Culture," studying travel and transportation in early Maryland, visit the B & O Railroad Museum. This original cornerstone was laid by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, father of the builder of Homewood – the house that lends its name and architectural style to JHU’s Homewood Campus.
Homewood Museum, January 28-March 31, 2010
Letters, newspaper advertisements, surviving travel related-objects, and other period items were displayed in this student-curated show. The exhibition offered a look at aspects of travel and transportation in early Maryland, particularly in relation to Baltimore families like the Carrolls of Homewood. A related exhibition of printed material was on view at the Eisenhower Library. On the Road was researched and produced by Johns Hopkins students in the fall course Introduction to Material Culture taught by Homewood Director and Curator Catherine Arthur. Read more about their work in the Hopkins Gazette.
The Authority of Ruins
In the spring of 2010, seven Johns Hopkins undergraduates worked closely with Professor Hérica Valladares in the Rare Books collection at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. With the assistance of Dr. Earle Havens, Curator of Rare Books at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University, the class explored antiquarian publications dating between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries.
Entitled The Authority of Ruins: Antiquarianism in Italy, 1500s-1800s, the final project for the course resulted in the creation of an online exhibition. The interactive site focuses on the visual nature of the study of antiquity, and investigates important changes in the methods for analyzing and depicting ruins over a span of three hundred years.
Behind the Scenes at the Walters Art Museum: Material Migrations
Ever wonder how objects and paintings in our museums got there? In the fall of 2009, Elizabeth Rodini and a group of Johns Hopkins students explored this question in a course entitled Behind the Scenes at the Walters Art Museum: Material Migrations. Taught in collaboration with Walters postdoctoral fellow Ben Tilghman (Ph.D. ’09), the course considered the many ways and means by which objects circulate, ranging from pilgrimage to commercial trade to archaeological excavation. These general investigations were enhanced by directed student research on the “back stories” of fourteen artworks in the Walters’ own collection. By examining how and why objects circulate, students were also invited to consider how meanings and values shift with shifting historical contexts. Students presented their research in several forms, including through maps produced in Google Earth that chronicle the geographic journey of each piece and explore its meaning at different “stops” along the way.
This work was possible thanks to the support of Hopkins’ Center for Educational Resources and an Arts Innovation Grant. Read more about this course in the Hopkins Arts and Sciences Magazine.
This historic collection of Judaica, the oldest in the United States, was formed by Baltimore clothing magnate Henry Sonneborn with the assitance of several faculty members from Johns Hopkins. It was donated to the university in 1902, but had been in storage or out on long-term loan for nearly 100 years. Several developments at Hopkins, including the establishment of programs in Jewish Studies and Museums and Society, made it a fitting time for the collection to be returned from its most recent home at Temple Oheb Shalon. A portion of the collection went on view in November 2009 at the Smokler Center for Jewish Life in an installation that paid homage to Sonneborn's dream of creating "a handsome museum" for teaching and research. The installation was curated by Museums and Society student Sarah DePaolo, '09, with the assistance of Suzanne Gold, '10.
In the spring of 2009, a group of JHU undergraduates met every week to study this singularly important painting in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Their mission: to look closely (really closely!) and consider this work by the Baroque painter Anthony van Dyck from as many points of view as possible. Under the guidance of Dr. Elizabeth Rodini and the BMA's Deputy Director for Education Anne Manning, they worked with art historians, curators, literary scholars, musicologists, conservators, and painters to uncover the richness of this complex work. Their research has now been developed into a web-based exploration of the painting, thanks to the work of Nora Krinistky '09, a Museums and Society graduate who joined the BMA as a Kress Interpretative Fellow. Explore the students' work here.
(Speaking of close looking, consider this recent series in the Washington Post by Blake Gopnik...sometimes less is more.)
At Your Fingertips
Baltimore Museum of Industry, Spring 2010
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, the Baltimore Museum of Industry opened this small focus show dedicated to the embossed type invented by Braille to enable the blind to read and write. Six Hopkins undergraduates in the spring, 2009 course History of the Artifact worked with historian and BMI educator Lori Finkelstein to research Braille and his invention and organize this installation. They selected artifacts, wrote all accompanying text, and developed educational materials to help engage visitors. All of the objects in the show were lent by the National Federation for the Blind.
JHU's first entry in the Kinetic Sculpture Race, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, May 2, 2009.
Follow a dedicated team of students from Arts and Sciences and Engineering as they negotiate a challenging 15-mile course through Baltimore with "Twitter Jay," their kinetic sculpture with a electronic twist. With the unwavering support of Joan Freedman and the staff of the Digital Media Center, and the sponsorship of Museums and Society and an Arts Innovation Grant, this team took home one of the most coveted prizes in this year's race...watch the video to learn more.
Interested in participating in the race? Contact Joan Freedman in the Digital Media Center.
Next to Godliness: Cleanliness in Early Maryland
Homewood Museum, January 29-March 29, 2009
The adage "Cleanliness is next to godliness" was certainly familiar to Homewood's residents, the Carrolls, and their contemporaries. Even without the religious context, they understood that cleanliness promoted health and that filth promoted disease. In fact, the very reason for building Homewood House was, in large part, to promote clean and healthful country living.
This focus show explored aspects of clean and dirty in the early 19th century including garbage, laundry, housekeeping, bathing, the issue of stink, shaving, tooth care, hair care, cosmetics, elimination, and even feminine hygiene. It was the result of research conducted by students in Introduction to Material Culture, taught in fall 2008 at Homewood Museum by Curator-Director Catherine Arthur as part of the Museums and Society program.
The course and the focus show were made possible by the late Anne Merrick Pinkard. Serious but with a good dose of humor, the show received strong attention in local blogs and papers.
Students in the fall 2008 course Introduction to the Museum: Issues and Ideas worked assiduously all semester to develop original museum oriented periodicals—the Muse News. The students worked in teams of three and each member was responsible for writing three articles: one exhibition review, one Op-ed, and one report. As with any business project, the teams had to identify their audience and their focus. Once they had established an angle, they wrote, read, and edited the articles. Working with the digital media center they learned “in design,” which helped them to create a clear layout with appealing graphics. The students then had to print and assemble their newsletters.
The last class was devoted to reading and evaluating each team’s publication. Art Museums of the East Coast took first prize. Art Focus: Museum Exclusive was voted second. Museums Today was voted third. All of the students worked hard on this labor intensive project. Most importantly, they learned that there are many different types of museum careers.
Evergreen Museum and Library, November 1, 2008-March 31, 2009
This exhibition was curated by Matt Turtoro, '10, the second recipient of the Evergreen Museum and Library Student Curator Internship. It examined the collecting activities of three generations of men in the Garrett family, who owned and resided in Evergreen House, the Italianate mansion on North Charles Street that now belongs to Johns Hopkins. Turtoro studied the Museum's collections and archives, and scattered the resulting installations throughout the house. One room featured an unusual map of all the countries visited by John Work Garrett, Jr., during his life time: the map was painted on a floorcloth by Turtoro, with the assistance of Homewood House Manager Mary Plumber. Other sections of the exhibition highlighted the Garrett's interest in coins, prints, and East Asian decorative arts, and exhibit artifacts from their travels and correspondance.
This curatorial experience allowed Matt to blend his fascination with history and the arts, to do in-depth research into the sources available at Evergreen, and to interpret them in an imaginitive and engaging way for the public.
On view in tandem with this show was also Evergreen as Muse, an exhibition of photos by undergraduate student artists. They worked with Homewood Art Workshops instructor Phyllis Berger and Evergreen Museum Curator and Director James Abbott to produce a series of photographs inspired by the house and its collections. This project was so successful that it was repeated in the fall of 2009. In fall 2010 a new collaboration centered on bookmaking, responded to Evergreen's wonderful Garrett Library. In fall 2011 that collaboration was repeated with a new group of students.
The Walters Art Museum, February 2-July 27, 2008
Mapping the Cosmos was curated by seven students in the fall 2007 course Behind the Scenes at the Walters Art Museum. Working closely with experts from the Walters and the Space Telescope Science Institute, as well as with their instructors, Elizabeth Rodini and Benjamin Tilghman, they researched everything from astronomy to museum audiences, designed the installation, and wrote all of the accompanying text--including wall labels, a cell phone tour, and an on-line interactive linked to Google Sky. A video produced by the STSci documents the class and the making of the show.
The exhibition was praised for its unusual blend of art and science, and drew large audiences of all ages. It received extensive coverage in the press, including the Hopkins Gazette, the Baltimore Sun, the Sun's OpEd page, and on the website of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Mapping the Cosmos continues to travel nationally, and inspired the fall 2010 exhibition at the Palazzo Loredan in Venice curated by the Space Telescope Science Institute. You can read more about the exhibition here.
Welcome Little Stranger: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Family in Early Maryland
Homewood Museum, January 17-March 30, 2008
Curated by students in the fall course Introduction to Material Culture, taught by Homewood Museum Curator Catherine Rogers Arthur, this exhibition explored the practices surrouding pregnancy and childbirth among families like the Carrolls of Homewood. Students researched the historical framework of the show, selected objects that would elucidate its themes, and organized the installation. This course and exhibition are an annual offering through the Program in Museums and Society, generously sponsored by the late Anne Merrick Pinkard.
Read more about student research for this project in the Johns Hopkins Magazine.
The Baltimore Museum of Art, November 14, 2007-March 30, 2008
Curated by Elizabeth Rodini and undergraduates in her spring, 2007 Museums and Society course, Paper Museums: Exhibiting Prints at the BMA, this exhibition featured prints and small-scale sculptures from the BMA's extensive collection. The show explored the many and varied reasons sculpture was represented in printed imagery, from the sixteenth through early nineteenth centuries.
The ten undergraduate students met regularly at the BMA with Dr. Rodini to help select the works for the exhibition, research them, and organize the installation. Assisted by the BMA staff, they also planned programs and wrote the text for the exhibition, as well as for an illustrated brochure.
Printed Sculpture/Sculpted Prints was generously supported by Chuck and Amy Newhall and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences of the Johns Hopkins University.
Milton S. Eisenhower Library, November 5, 2007-March 3, 2008
Curated by Museums and Society undergraduate students Gillian Maguire '08 and Whitney Shaffer '08, this show featured works from the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections and the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine. It was conceived as an extension of the student-curated exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Printed Sculpture/Sculpted Prints.
Homewood Museum, January 4-March 31, 2007
Students in the fall 2006 undergraduate course Introduction to Material Culture used artifacts and objects to investigate early American history. The result was this exhibition, which was profiled in the Chronicle of Higher Education. This seminar-exhibition project is now an annual offering of the Program in Museums and Society.
Style DIV, please skip.
Style DIV, please skip.