Museum 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 of it.

In 2011, a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recognized the Program in Museums and Society for its unique offerings with a grant that to support museum-based projects with our campus museums and with partner 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 and has supported more than a dozen collaborative projects at institutions as diverse as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Jewish Museum of Maryland, Maryland Zoo, Baltimore Museum of Industry, JHU Archaeology Museum and others. Many smaller grants in pedagogy, the arts, and practical ethics have launched innovative digital projects, varied art installations and a new archive.

See below for a list of projects, and think about what you might like to try this semester.

Museum of the Ironworker Exhibits in Catoctin Furnace

Catoctin Furnace

Students, in the Fall 2017 course AS.389.336 Heritage at Work, work alongside instructor Elizabeth Comer and other professionals to develop, design, and prepare exhibits for the new Museum of the Ironworker at Catoctin Furnace while learning about how artifacts make their way from archaeological excavations to museum exhibitions.

1939: Exhibiting Black Art at the BMA

Baltimore Museum of Art and online
June 13, 2018 to October 28, 2018

Students in Jennifer Kingsley's Fall 2017 class Black Artists in the American Art Museum researched the twentieth century history of exhibiting artworks by black artists in public art museums and wrote the online publication for the BMA's 2018 exhibition 1939: Exhibiting Black Art at the BMA.


Why We Work

Baltimore Museum of Industry
May 19, 2018 to April 14, 2019

Students in Elizabeth Maloney's Fall 2017 course, AS.389.374 Museum Lab: Creating Participatory Spaces at the Baltimore Museum of Industry created an interactive exhibition that explores the personal side of work, asking: why do we work? what is our work? how does it shape us?(2018-2019).

Housing Our Story: Towards Archival Justice for Black Baltimore

JHU Archives

Housing Our Story (PIs: Jennifer Kingsley, Shani Mott, N.D.B. Connolly) engages in the practical ethics of building an archive about African-American staff and contract workers at the Johns Hopkins University. Undergraduates participate as student researchers as well as in courses.

Joyce J. Scott’s Ancestry Doll 1

Hutzler Reading Room, Gilman Hall
on permanent display

Students in Jennifer Kingsley's Spring 2017 class "Collections Remix" mined JHU collections for materials that reflect the experiences of African Americans. Students Madelena Brancati and Nia Josiah worked with a newly acquired artwork by Baltimore artist and MacArthur genius award winner Joyce J. Scott, identifying a site on campus for the sculpture, developing an installation concept in discussion with the artist, preparing interpretations and coming up with ideas for programs. 

American Selfie

Brody Learning Commons
February 6 to April 6, 2018

Students in Jennifer Kingsley's Spring 2017 course "Collections Remix" mined archival, literary and cultural collections of the Johns Hopkins University for materials that reflect the experiences of African-Americans. One student team, Monika Borkovic and Lorna Henson, developed this exhibit of the Sheridan Libraries' African American Real Photo Postcards Collection.

To Colour Well

Multiple Locations
Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters

Why do we catalogue collections? What goes into writing a catalogue? In the Fall of 2016, students in Virginia Anderson’s seminar on Collecting and Cataloguing the Contemporary (AS.389.358) responded to these questions.  

Book Arts Baltimore logo

Book Arts Baltimore

Multiple Locations

Book Arts Baltimore (BAB) is an informal partnership supporting a common goal: celebrating artists’ books and book arts. Launched by M&S and the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2013, it supports the coordination of book arts projects throughout the city. BAB is still active and can be reached through the Kelmscott Book Shop.

What is Happening?

Multiple Locations
December 2016 and April 2017

"What is Happening?" is an interactive three-part performance art series  sponsored by an Andrew W. Mellon Arts Innovation Grant and produced by Museums and Society students Sarah Braver and Helena Arose for 2016-17. 

Henri Riviere

BMA Off the Shelf

Baltimore Museum of Art
March 12, 2017 - June 25, 2017

Stemming from Spring 2016 course, AS.389.354 Paper Museums: Exhibiting Artists' Books at the Baltimore Museum of Art, students from JHU, Loyola, and MICA, alongside BMA staff, worked with the BMA collection of artists' books to develop an exhibition of more than 100 books and prints by more than 50 renowned artists.

Homewood Stories & Archaeology of Knowledge Audio Tours

September 2016

Ever wondered about Hopkins' athletes experiences with Jim Crow laws? Or what on earth is all that stuff in the BLC's reading room about? Drawing from oral histories and archival materials, Homewood Histories builds on the 2014 M&S signage project A Sense of Place to expand and diversify the stories of the people who have lived and worked on the site of what is today the Homewood campus. The Archaeology of Knowledge tour digs into the stuff that populates artist Mark Dion's cabinet of wonders installation in the Reading Room of the Brody Learning Commons. It shares stories of collaboration and service, as well as conflict and challenge - between Hopkins, Baltimore and the wider world. 

Zoo Activity Booklet for Conservation Education

Baltimore City Elementary Schools
June 2016

In Spring 2016, undergraduates in Lori Finkelstein's Zoos and Communities worked in partnership with elementary school students enrolled in the STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) program to create a summer activity booklet for conservation education.

Shriver Hall Murals

Shriver Hall Lobby, Homewood Campus
Course Spring 2016; signage installed Fall 2016

Students in Elizabeth Rodini's Introduction to the Museum: Issues and Ideas course researched these 1950s-era murals and wrote interpretive text

The Literary Archive Project

Spring 2015

Gabrielle Dean's students, in course AS.389.359, considered the archival traces of three American modernist prose writers with roots in Baltimore: Dashiell Hammett, H.L. Mencken, and Gertrude Stein.

JUBILEE: Roman Catholic Pilgrimage Culture in Papal Rome, 1500 – 1675

Milton S. Eisenhower Library’s M-Level
April 29, 2016-June 1, 2016

Senior, and Museums & Society student, Taylor Alessio curated, “JUBILEE: Roman Catholic Pilgrimage Culture in Papal Rome, 1500 – 1675,” a rare book exhibition featuring beautifully illustrated books from the Italian Renaissance.”

Museums and Social Responsibility

Multiple Locations
Spring 2016

During the Spring 2016 course AS.389.375, students explored the ways in which museums engage with local communities.


An Ever Green Evening

Evergreen Museum & Library
December 10, 2015 – January 31, 2016

A set of silver spoons, a Walloon sword, and a Japanese katana are among a collection of historical objects recently returned to Evergreen Museum & Library. Curated and researched for the first time by student history detectives from Johns Hopkins University, the diverse artifacts on display in this winter focus exhibition illuminate the broad collecting interests of the B&O Railroad’s Garrett family, the range of teaching that takes place at Evergreen, and the many stories that can be told through a single object.

Death of History: Witnessing Heritage Destruction in Syria and Iraq

Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda, Washington D.C. (October 26-30, 2015), Rayburn House Office Building Foyer, in Washington, D.C. (November 5, 2015)

Cultural heritage is the physical manifestation of a people's history and forms a significant part of their identity. Unfortunately, the destruction of that heritage has become an ongoing part of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. With the rise of ISIS and the increase of political instability, important cultural sites and irreplaceable collections are now at risk in these countries and across the region.

Conversations with the Carrolls

Homewood Museum
April 1-3, 2016

Conversations with the Carrolls, a student-run living history performance at the Homewood Museum, tells the story of the Carroll family and the enslaved men, women and children who labored for them at Homewood in the 1800s.


Baltimore, MD
10/15/15 (Penn Station), 11/2/15 (JHU Homewood), amd 11/4/15 (Lexington Market)

Along with staff of The Contemporary, a nomadic museum in Baltimore, students in this fall's GhostFoodcourse brought the futuristic food truck of Brooklyn-based artists Miriam Simun to campus on Monday, October 5. Around 100 students explored the "post-extinction taste experiences" devised by Simun to call attention to the impact of climate change on the global food supply.

Frida Kahlo’s Indigenous Identity

Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum
April 11, 2015-April 16, 2016

M&S student Alison Tretter's Capstone exhibition, "Frida Kahlo's Indigenous Identity: Ancient Ceramics in Modern Art" compares four objects from the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum’s ancient Americas collection with three of Kahlo’s paintings in order to highlight the artist’s personal relationship with Mexican material culture.

Baltimore National Heritage Area Trail

Multiple Locations
Spring 2015

During the Spring 2015 semester, students in Elizabeth Maloney's M&S course AS.389.275, explored how heritage areas and historic sites serve visitors through interpretation.

Making a Museum: The Peale Family in Early Baltimore

Homewood Museum
December 4, 2014-May 31, 2015

M&S student-curated exhibit of the Peale family's Baltimore-related artwork, which also explore the origins and continued development of the landmark museum and portrait gallery opened in Baltimore by Rembrandt Peale in 1814.

Foot Locker

The Copycat Building
Spring 2015

Footlocker, Thomas Teurlai’s solo American debut, was curated by M&S senior Joseph Shaikewitz as a Capstone project in Museums and Society and supported by an Arts Innovation Grant funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics

Baltimore Clayworks
Spring 2015

This hands-on course in experimental archaeology brings together undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines to study the making of Athenian vases. Students work closely with expert ceramics artists, and in consultation with art historians, archaeologists, art conservators, and materials scientists to recreate Greek manufacturing processes.

From Here to Eternity: The Symbolism of Evergreen’s Eight Immortals’ Scrolls

Evergreen Museum and Library
October 24, 2014–May 31, 2015

Curated by museums and society minor and guest Evergreen student curator Shilei Chen, the exhibit investigates a series of late 18th-century red and gold painted Chinese scrolls acquired to decorate Evergreen’s dining room in the 1920s. 

A Sense of Place: Homewood Campus

Homewood Campus
2014–2015 Academic Year

Students in museum education consultant Beth Maloney’s course Interpreting Sites and Collections created 10 interpretive signs about the history of the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.

Surrealism at Mid-Century

Milton S. Eisenhower Library
April–June 2014

Students in a course on Surrealism offered by Molly Warnock (History of Art) developed and curated an exhibit of surrealist journals produced between the late 1930s and the early 1950s in Paris, London, New York, and Mexico.

Workin’ the Tease: The Art of Baltimore’s Burlesque

Modell Lyric Opera House
May 5 and 7, 2014

Museums and society minor Erin (Gloria) You participated in the two-semester MICA Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS), which resulted in the project Workin' the Tease: The Art of Baltimore's Burlesque.

A Tale of Two Houses: Homewood, Clifton, and Historic Preservation

Homewood Museum
December 10, 2013–May 25, 2014

Curated by students in the annual Curating Homewood class offered by Catherine Arthur, director of Homewood Museum, this exhibit weaves side-by-side histories of two houses significant to Hopkins history. 

Motifs in Jewish Art

Fall 2013–Fall 2014

Curated by museums and society minor Drew Lash, Motifs in Jewish Art is the fifth in a series of student-curated exhibitions focusing on the Henry Sonneborn Collection of Judaica.

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 worked under the mentorship of staff from the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries to develop an exhibition of never-before-shown images of important Anatolian monuments shot by Ara Güler.

Herbert Haseltine: Sculptor of the Modern Age

Evergreen Museum and Library
March 10–May 26, 2013

Museums and society minor Chloé Pelletier curated the show, which offers an intimate look at this renowned artist through the friendship he maintained with Ambassador John Work Garrett and his wife Alice.

Please Touch: An Interactive Study

Milton S. Eisenhower Library
January 30–May 26, 2013

Museums and society minor Hannah Weinberg-Wolf curated 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.

Portrait of a City: Views of Early Baltimore

Homewood Museum
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 19th-century Baltimore.

Reinstalling Asian Art

The Walters Art Museum
Fall 2012–Fall 2013

A multiyear collaboration in which students reconsidered the East Asian, South, and Southeast Asian collections of the Walters Art Museum.

Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus

Multiple Locations
Fall 2012–Spring 2013

Students in the Spring 2012 course Staging Suburbia worked as public historians alongside Jewish Museum of Maryland curators and staff to develop a traveling exhibition about Baltimore’s Jewish suburbs.

To Glorify and to Sanctify: The Crown Motif in Jewish Ritual and Art

Fall 2012–Fall 2013

Museums and society minor Gabrielle Barr curated a show about the significance of the crown as a motif in Jewish culture from the rabbinic period to the present.

Federal Foodies: From Farm to Table in Early Baltimore

Homewood Museum
February 3, 2012–April 29, 2013

Students in the annual practicum course offered at Homewood Museum developed a show exploring the culture of food, farming and festivity in 19th-century Maryland.

Print by Print: Series From Dürer to Lichtenstein

Baltimore Museum of Art
October 30, 2011–March 25, 2012

As part of the first Mellon-funded collaboration between the Program in Museums and Society and a local museum, students worked on an exhibit of more than 350 prints, many of which had never been exhibited before.

Zelda Fitzgerald: Choreography in Color

Evergreen Museum and Library
October 19, 2011–January 29, 2012

Museums and society minor Laura Somenzi curated the show, which 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.

From Sacred to Secular: Collecting and Caring for Judaica

Fall 2011–Fall 2012

In this exhibition, museums and society minor Emily Carambelas considered how museums balance their mission with religious instructions regarding the preservation, interpretation, and display of sacred objects.

The Archaeology of Daily Life

Spring 2011

Students in a course offered by Hérica Valladares (Classics) worked closely with the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Museum to create an online exhibit and catalog of 24 little known and mostly unpublished artifacts of everyday Greco-Roman life. 

The Art of Diplomacy: The Garretts in Rome

Evergreen Museum and Library
March 6–May 29, 2011

Museums and society minor and Evergreen Student Curator Kit Harris curated the show, which explores how the Garretts used their status within Roman society to further an exchange between the art worlds of the U.S. and Italy.

Privileged Pursuits: Cultural Refinement in Early Baltimore

Homewood Museum
February 4–April 17, 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.


Audio Tour for Treasures of Heaven

The Walters Art Museum
Fall 2010

Students in Walters Art Museum Associate Curator Martina Bagnoli’s course Walking With Reliquaries worked on an audio tour for the exhibition Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe.

Reading the Peabody

Milton S. Eisenhower Library
November 1, 2010–January 21, 2011

Curated by Gabrielle Dean and her students from the Spring 2010 course Reading Culture in the 19th-Century Library, the exhibition explored how 19th-century readers might have used the rich holdings of the library's collection.

Evergreen as Muse

Evergreen Museum and Library
December 2008–January 2009; December 2009–January 2010; December 2010–January 2011; December 2011–January 2012

This exhibition series showcased original art and writing created by students in the museums and society course Artist in the Museum under the mentorship of Homewood Art Workshops instructor Phyllis Berger and Evergreen Museum Curator and Director James Abbott.

The Five Senses and Jewish Ritual Objects

Fall 2010–Fall 2011

The role of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste in Jewish ritual tradition is explored in Museums and Society Minor Suzanne Gold’s student-curated exhibition.

The Authority of Ruins

Spring 2010

Students in a course offered by Hérica Valladares (Classics) developed an online exhibit that explores the study of antiquity in Italy and changes in the methods of analyzing and depicting ruins over a span of 300 years.

Baltimore’s Billy Baldwin

Evergreen Museum and Library
May 20–October 24, 2010

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.  

Decades of Change: Alice Garrett and the Theatre, 1900-1952

Evergreen Museum and Library
February 28–April 25, 2010

Organized by Evergreen Museum student curator and museums and society minor Suzanne Gold, this focus show considers how theater provided a means of self-expression, and even self-definition, separate but parallel to Alice Garrett’s role as an ambassador's wife.

On the Road: Travel and Transportation in Early Maryland

Homewood Museum
January 28–March 31, 2010

Researched and produced by Johns Hopkins students in museums and society's annual Curating Homewood course, the show considered aspects of travel related to early Baltimore families such as the Carrolls of Homewood.  

A Handsome Museum: Selections From the Henry Sonneborn Collection

Smokler Center for Jewish Life
November 2009

Museums and Society student Sarah DePaolo, with the assistance of Suzanne Gold, explored the history of the Henry Sonneborn Collection of Judaica on the occasion of its return to the university.  

At Your Fingertips

Baltimore Museum of Industry
Spring 2010

Students in the spring 2009 course History of the Artifact worked with historian and BMI educator Lori Finkelstein to research and organize a focus show at the BMI dedicated to the embossed type invented by Braille.  

Art on the Move

The Walters Art Museum/Online
Fall 2009

Students in Elizabeth Rodini and Benjamin Tilghman (History of Art)’s course “Material Migrations” researched the movement, over centuries, of 14 objects from the collection of the Walters Art Museum. Their findings were developed into interpretive Google Earth tours.

Close Looking at Rinaldo and Armida

Baltimore Museum of Art/Online
Spring 2009

Students in Elizabeth Rodini’s course Close Looking at the BMA researched the richness of the Anthony van Dyck painting Rinaldo and Armida from multiple perspectives. Their findings were developed into a web-based interactive of the painting.

“Twitter Jay and the Re-Cyclists”

American Visionary Art Museum's Kinetic Sculpture Race
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.  

Next to Godliness: Cleanliness in Early Maryland

Homewood Museum
January 29–March 29, 2009

The result of research conducted by students as part of the annual Curating Homewood course, this focus show explored aspects of clean and dirty in the early 19th century.

It’s a Man’s World: The Collections of the Male Garretts

Evergreen Museum and Library
November 1, 2008–March 31, 2009

Curated by museums and society minor and second Annual Evergreen Museum student curator Matt Turtoro, the show examined the collecting activities of three generations of men in the Garrett family, who owned and resided in the Italianate mansion on North Charles Street that now belongs to Johns Hopkins.  

Mapping the Cosmos: Images From the Hubble Space Telescope

The Walters Art Museum
February 2–July 27, 2008

Seven students in the Fall 2007 course Behind the Scenes at the Walters Art Museum worked closely with experts from the Walters and the Space Telescope Science Institute to research everything from astronomy to museum audiences and design a show of cosmic maps.

Welcome Little Stranger: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Family in Early Maryland

Homewood Museum
January 17–March 30, 2008

Curated by students in museums and society's annual Curating Homewood course, this exhibition explored the practices surrounding pregnancy and childbirth among families like the Carrolls of Homewood.

Printed Sculpture/Sculpted Prints

The Baltimore Museum of Art
November 14, 2007–March 30, 2008

Curated by Elizabeth Rodini and undergraduates in her Spring 2007 course Paper Museums: Exhibiting Prints at the BMA, this exhibition featured prints and small-scale sculptures from the BMA's extensive collection.

Renaissance Men: Classical Form in Art and Anatomy

Milton S. Eisenhower Library
November 5, 2007–March 3, 2008

Curated by museums and society students Gillian Maguire and Whitney Shaffer, this show featured works from the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections and the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine.  

Feathers, Fins, and Fur: The Pet in Early Maryland

Homewood Museum
January 4–March 31, 2007

Students in the annual Curating Homewood course use artifacts and objects to investigate early American history. This exhibit explored views of the pets and livestock that were part of the scenery of early Maryland.


The Material Culture of Academic Life

JHU Collections / Online
Fall 2014

Students in Jennifer Kingsley’s course Curating Material Culture for the Digital Age researched diverse artifacts from across the Hopkins universe and presented their findings as part of an interactive online exhibit.

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