The seminar in Museum Studies introduces the student to the history and practices of museums, with a focus on Valparaiso University’s nationally recognized Brauer Museum of Art. Study includes class discussion of assigned and provided texts, exposure to careers in art museums, discussions with professionals in the field, and exposure to the many aspects of museum operations. Hands-on projects enable students to learn about the following functions in a museum:
Directorial: Students learn about planning a calendar of exhibitions, marketing the museum to the public, managing museum accounts, and working with donors.
Curatorial: Students learn about selecting objects for purchase for a museum collection, choosing themes for exhibitions, generating accompanying text for wall labels, and conducting public educational programs.
Registrarial: Students learn about maintaining a collection, completing condition reports, arranging for the transporting of objects, and accessioning new objects into a collection.
Preparatorial: Students learn about using archival materials for framing and storing collection objects, installing objects in museum galleries, and handling collection objects safely in gallery and storage settings.
In addition, internships in the Brauer Museum of Art provide students with the opportunity to work within a professional museum setting. Internships are fun opportunities for students to work more closely with museum staff members and experience in more depth some of the projects and activities introduced in Museum Studies. Students should approach the museum director individually to arrange for internships that are limited in their availability each semester.