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Honors Students Explore Curatorship in Ellis Library Showcase

Creatively Curating Cultures
Ellis Library Colonnade
November and December 2019

The new exhibit “Creatively Curating Cultures” showcases works by undergraduate students who engaged with artmaking and the role of creativity in curatorship practices while enrolled in the Fall 2019 Honors Tutorial 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 practice 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 by gallery, library, archive and museum professionals based on the Mizzou campus who contribute to the Material Culture Studies Group, established in 2014.

Our student showcase features 17 art objects created by 14 undergraduate students, each based on the class visit to a particular collection on the Columbia campus. Students created weekly syntheses reflecting on curators’ decisions in displaying an object, and a culminating object analysis aligning with students’ future academic interests.

On display here are a clay tablet inscribed in Sumerian cuneiform with the opening line of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a model of the new Center for Missouri Studies grand staircase, a 3D collage of the career of President Harry S. Truman, a material analysis of a Mongolian Composite Bow in our Grayson Archery Collection, a visual study of polychromy (pigment and color restoration) in ancient sculpture, a photo essay inspired by Vanessa Viruet’s recent “Flagged” exhibition in the Bingham Art Gallery, and a zine narrating the plants along Lowry Mall within Mizzou Botanic Garden, among others. For their contributions to the success of the course we gratefully thank: Catherine Armbrust, Jessica Boldt, Buck’s Ice Cream, Cathy Callaway, Bede Clark, Marie Concannon, Kyla Drozt, John Fifield, Lisa Franko, Danielle Griego, Kelli Hansen, Rachel Harper, Nicole Johnston, Jenna Rozum, Candace Sall, Karlan Seville and Joan Stack. The course will next be offered in Fall 2020 – join us!