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Upcoming Projects: Museum Controversies; English Renaissance Poetry; Female Modernist Writers

In only two, short weeks, I will begin my last semester of undergrad at Wheaton. While I deeply love the Wheaton community, I feel optimistic, excited, and confident making the transition from student to young professional.

As both an Art History and English double major, I will be taking on three (!) final projects to end my senior year. One will focus on a controversial issue in the museum community (TBD), the second will focus on the poetic style and production of English poetry during the early seventeenth century, investigating writers such as Milton, Lanyer, Donne, and Wroth, and lastly, the final project will discuss several female modernist writers.

I will keep this page updated once the research begins in late January.

Research Abroad: The Eastern Etruscan?

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ABOVE: Exploring a huge, Etruscan burial mound at Banditaccia in Cerverteri, Italy. Photo credit: Anna Craig ’17

I have an affinity for arts of the ancient world, especially Etruscan visual productions.

In 2015, fueled by my passion for arts of the ancient world, I undertook a research project that started at Wheaton and ended in Italy. the-eastern-etruscan research project explores gendered funerary art and its connection with ancient Near Eastern visual culture. I argue that Etruscan women were borrowing Near Eastern motifs and styles during the “Orientalizing” period to elevate their own status in Etruria, even after death.

Cataloging Curiosity: A Story of Providence & its Athenaeum

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Spring of 2016, I had the opportunity to support the Athenaeum’s Collections Manager by researching objects within the library’s Permanent Collection to generate further interest in the collection as a whole. The catalog entries will be uploaded onto the library’s website and will be featured in a printed publication of the library’s art collection within the next year or two.

My research explored a diverse group of objects, including an architectural print by American artist, john-howe ; a print of a 19th century view of Providence by American artist, john-b-bachelder; a bust of American historian, william-prescott; an enormous bronze metal, titled triumvire-americani; a moving excursion-views panorama; and a 19th century American banjo-clock. These listed are only six out of the total eleven research projects I undertook at the Athenaeum.

 

Goya & Beethoven: Finding a Voice Out of Silence

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In 2015, I enrolled in an experimental art history course, titled Impossible Monsters: Goya, as the MFA was preparing for its blockbuster exhibition, Goya: Order and Disorder – one of my favorite exhibitions to this day – co-curated by Stephanie Stephanek, a Wheaton alumna. As a course founded by the W.I.I.H – Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities – the class was co-taught with a 300-level music course on Beethoven. The exhibition curated by the two classes explored the relationship between two, 18th century artists, Goya and Beethoven, as both talented artists experienced visual and auditory loss around the same time.

As student curators, we were responsible for designing and installing the exhibition as well as researching all the prints on display.  I was lucky enough to research and write an object label for Goya’s Disparates (Flying Men), one of his well known prints from his famed series, Disparates. 

As a student board member of the W.I.I.H, I was appointed to speak about the show on opening night as well as at a lecture given by Stepanek.

Below are pictures of the exhibition in Wheaton’s smaller, inner gallery, called “The Weil.” For further information on this unique W.I.I.H course, click here.

Goya & Beethoven

Goya & Beethoven

Goya & Beethoven

Goya & Beethoven

Goya & Beethoven

Photo credit: Wheaton Quarterly staff photographers.

 

It’s Elemental: Water

img_7301ABOVE: Photo credit, Jessica Kuczaj, Manager of Arts Events and Publicity at Wheaton

It’s Elemental: Water is the title of ARTH 335: Exhibition Design’s new student-run exhibition on display from now until February 22, 2017 in the Beard and Weil Galleries at Wheaton College (MA). As a part of the course, Professor Leah Niederstadt, Assistant Professor of Museum Studies, had the class compete for the best exhibition design by splitting us into three teams. My team, “Winnecunnet” (named after a body of water near Wheaton) chose to celebrate water in its diverse forms. By dividing the exhibition into four themes – water and Wheaton; water and nature; water and self; and water and society – our group aimed to highlight water as a constantly changing element. Our team’s hope was to spark dialog with visitors as to how much water is utilized in our daily lives, and thus, our ultimate goal was to shed light onto issues of water scarcity, as droughts, floods, and other natural disasters increase each year.

Our four theme sections are modeled after the four themes of literary conflict: man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. self, and man vs. society. These four literary conflicts drive the narrative of a text, similar to how our four themes aim to narrate our exhibition. Just as a protagonist faces conflict with many opposing forces, water, too, is always in a dialectal relationship with humanity, society, nature, and the college itself.

In order to help the viewer travel from section to section, our group decided to implement two poems, “Sea and Sky” by Lucy Larcom, a Prof. of English at Wheaton during the 19th century and “Water” by Emerson.  The Larcom poem remains in the water and Wheaton section, however, the Emerson poem has been divided into the remaining three sections as to help guide the viewer around the exhibition.

Team Winnecunnet won the juried design competition. Below are examples of our layout, thematic section texts, introductory texts, overall flow of the exhibition, logographic material, and interactive components to engage our visitors.

Charlotte Hall ’17, Rebecca Maitland ’17, Abby Landers ’18, and myself all worked tirelessly on this design.

 

BELOW: Mission Statement, Example of Intro Text, and Example of Thematic Text (Water and Self)

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BELOW: Interactive wall texts with schematics of interactive activities.

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BELOW: Flow layout

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BELOW: Example of an object label text from the water and self theme section

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Digital Provenance Research

Leah Niederstadt and students work with the Arab Filly statueABOVE: Sandra Grullon, Liam Grace-Flood, and myself working with Haseltine’s Arab Filly (Filly), supported by collection assistant, Abe Ziner. Our research uncovered the Filly’s provenance. We additionally utilized Google Earth as a digital platform to exhibit and track the  sculpture’s provenance from its creation to its arrival at Wheaton College (MA). Photo credit: Flynn Larsen, 2013.

Tracing the provenance of Herbert Haseltine’s Arab Filly proved to be an adventurous task. As a part of Niederstadt’s course, Gift or Loot: Who Owns Cultural Property?, my provenance team found Arab Filly’s full provenance through extensive research within the Permanent Collection record files. To showcase and highlight our research findings, all teams utilized Google Earth as a visual and digital platform.

Within the same course, we were also required to research and study a failed or successful repatriation. I chose to study the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles and their failed, full repatriation from the British Museum back to Greece.  To highlight our research this time, we were required to utilize Omeka, an online content management platform, to create digital exhibitions detailing each object’s provenance narrative.

Both projects highlight the ways in which object research can engage students in “service learning” in non-traditional, technological ways.

For further information, please click here.

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ABOVE: A screenshot of my repatriation project which followed the failed repatriation of the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles back to Greece.

 

 

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities: An Exploration through Film

During my Digital Storytelling and Archival internship at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (Providence, RI) I created a short documentary film on the leadership and impact of public humanities in the state of Rhode Island. For this film, I conducted interviews with arts organizations, cultural leaders, academic scholars, authors, and the Council’s past and current grantees  – all who call Rhode Island their home. This video was produced in conjunction with the Council’s annual Celebration of the Humanities , which each year aims to honor and, of course, celebrate humanities leadership throughout Rhode Island. The 2016 theme for the Celebration – “Amplify” – aimed to honor those who have amplified the humanities in various and diverse ways. Please click here to access the film.

Recently, the Celebration of the Humanities was featured in the Rhode Island Monthy! Check out the picture below.coh-in-ri-monthly-page-001