Now on display, “Provenance: Everywhere in Everything” showcases research and creative works completed by students enrolled in the Honors Seminar during Fall 2022, GN_HON 1050H, “Get Real, Go Places! Let Objects Take You There.” The eight-week course takes as its focus the study of material culture, specifically the opportunities for research that objects and artifacts make possible. Students are introduced to the concept of provenance and the practices of interpreting, inspecting, and writing about objects through regular use of a sketchbook journal and weekly syntheses shared with classmates. The course is taught by Dr. Sarah Buchanan of the iSchool at the University of Missouri (in the College of Education and Human Development) and by gallery, library, archive, and museum professionals based on the Mizzou campus who belong to the Material Culture Studies Group, established in 2014.
The expansive idea of provenance was introduced to Honors students as information about an object – its origins, ownership history, and creation contexts. Students’ fact-finding research projects crossed cultures and made innovative use of MU Libraries’ resources to tell, visually and creatively, new stories about cultural public heritage. Our student showcase features 18 art objects created by 12 undergraduate students, each based on the class visit to a particular collection on the Columbia campus. Students created weekly syntheses reflecting on their visit and a culminating analysis of specific objects conducive to continued study.
On display here are tributes to the Francis Quadrangle’s late great pin oak trees in the form of an original piano composition and a full-color garden redesign proposal, collages both of haunted Columbia buildings and a nun’s Book of Hours from ca. 1530, a biography of Armenian-American artist Stephen Sacklarian’s “Reality of Unreality XXIV” painting, digital art about “finding home away from home,” an etymological / theological study of “providence as the fulfillment and completion of provenance,” clay letters and a handmade Processional inspired by an illuminated manuscript, an impression of fiber art shown in “The Things of This World: Works by Sarah Nguyen” in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, a 3D visualization of chaos depicted in a painting by Bingham, drawings of Greek and Egyptian gods, and visual aids for oil lamps and making papyrus, among other provenance storytellings. For their contributions to the success of the course we gratefully thank: Catherine Armbrust, Jessica Boldt, Chris Daniggelis, Connor Frew for the RISO room, Kelli Hansen, Rachel Harper, Nicole Johnston, Benton Kidd, Andrew Long for Ceramics, Maggie Mayhan, Pete Millier, artist Sarah Nguyen, Candace Sall, Karlan Seville, Joan Stack, and Kenzie Wells and dedicate the exhibit in memory of Chancellor (1978-1987) Barbara Uehling, originator of the Mizzou Botanic Garden.
The course will next be offered in Fall 2023 – join us!