COOL CLASSES: “Theory and Practice of Exhibitions: Objects, Images, Texts, Events”

A fine arts course that gives students the analytic tools necessary to understand how exhibitions work and practical experience making arguments with objects, images, texts, and events.

Class name: “Theory and Practice of Exhibitions: Objects, Images, Texts, Events”

Taught By: Visiting Assistant Professor of Independent College Programs John Muse

Here’s what Muse has to say about the course:

This course is about the visual culture of exhibition and display. We not only read the canonical texts about exhibition practices, we also build exhibitions in collaboration with both Coordinator for Digital Scholarship and Services Laurie Allen and Postdoctoral Writing Fellow Paul Farber, among others. Allen teaches us how to create virtual exhibitions using Omeka, a digital collections management platform. Farber, along with Mellon Creative Resident Stephanie Syjuko and I, pair writing seminar students with [students in my class] to develop pop-up exhibits about Lancaster Avenue. Other projects include collaborations with senior fine arts majors and sculpture students.

I hope students leave this course with not only a critical understanding of how exhibitions work, but also how to make them. Students should be willing and able to display objects and images, curate of events, and create visually interesting works.

I was asked to create this class by the Provost’s office. As the college continues to develop visual studies courses across the curriculum, exhibition and display has been marked as an area of particular interest. Both as a media artist and a scholar of photography and contemporary art, I am interested in the practical and theoretical stakes of exhibition design.

Students from this course have installed pop-up exhibitions around Magill Library using paintings by Margaret Ralston Gest (1900–65), an artist and benefactor of Haverford College. The exhibits open today (a reception will be held at 4:15 p.m.).

See what other courses the Fine Arts Department is offering this semester.

Alina Van Ryzin BMC ’17 and Courtney Carter ’17 present their plan for Veins, one of three pop-up exhibitions inspired by Magill Library’s collection of artworks by Margaret Ralston Gest. This exhibition was a midterm project in Muse’s “Theory and Practice of Exhibition: Objects, Images, Texts, Events.”

Photo by John Muse.

Cool Classes is a recurring series on the Haverblog that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford College experience.