RAAMP Video Practicum: Integrating Curricula and Exhibitions

Issa Lampe, Director of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry, Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial​ Affairs, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, and Berit Ness, Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, present the exhibition series “Smart to the Core” at the Smart Museum of Art in connection with the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry and courses at the University of Chicago.

Also featuring John Kelly, Christian W. Mackenauer Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, Jessica Kirzane, Lecturer at the University of Chicago, and David Levin, Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies, the Department of Media and Cinema Studies, the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies, and Senior Advisor to the Provost for Arts at the University of Chicago.

My Gallery is Bigger Than Your Gallery | Recording and Resources


On Thursday, November 21 at 2 pm (EST), Michael Dickins presented on the campus plan he has devised for the New Gallery at Austin Peay University.

Faced with limited storage space on campus, Dickins started a program (with strict parameters) to share the permanent collection with the campus community, while also creating an educational opportunity for Austin Peay students. With the permanent collection at their disposal, Dickin’s undergraduate student workers curate exhibitions to hang in department spaces.

For each exhibition, students write a curatorial statement, labels, and record an audio guide segment for each work that visitors can access through the app, Guide-by-Cell.

In his presentation, Dickins shares images of the finished exhibitions, and, as an open book, shares his trials, tribulations, and successes he encountered while running this campus plan program.

Benefits of this program, according to Michael Dickins:

  • Gets artwork into public sphere instead of hidden in storage (which ours is not large enough to house our collection)
  • Allows for academic buildings to look less ‘institutional’
  • Artwork only goes in spaces accessible to the public (NOT offices) – as it is a collection at a public university and needs to be accessible to the public.
  • Artwork gets installed on OUR schedule as myself and assistants have other duties.
  • Gives students experience in curating, installing, labeling, cataloguing in database, art handling, etc. – plus writing a curatorial statement.
  • This informs the occupants of said space that this is a teaching/education opportunity and not just decorating.

Future Events

Michael Dickins will be presenting at CAA’s Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 12: Is that Unprofessional? When Artists Curate, alongside our September Coffee Gathering host, Meredith Lynn.

Articles and Documents

Austin Peay Students Discover Work from Two Major Artists in University’s Collection

The New Gallery Collections Management Policy

View PDF

How Time Spent in an Art Museum Can Improve Medical Students’ Skills

Each year, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia hosts a two hour “Clinician’s Eye” workshop for second-year medical students. The workshop allows medical students to work on their observational skills and practice gathering clues to formulate decisions.

Curator M. Jordan Love, medical humanities professor Marcia Childress, and docent coordinator Emily Lazaro worked with students throughout this workshop.

Childress argued, “In a museum setting, we can slow down that process for them. It helps build reflexes they will need in a clinical setting, when they have to react and learn very quickly.” [UVA Today]

University of Chicago Students Make Acquisition for Smart Museum

With the input of ten undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art acquired several three new works of art from Viennacontemporary, Austria’s largest art fair. The fair founder, Dmitry Aksenov, invited the Smart Museum of Art to bring a group of students to choose works from the fair to add to the museum’s permanent collection.

Gearing up to the trip, the students read and discussed scholarship about the art market and fairs with Smart Museum staff members. They also researched the Smart’s collection. Art history graduate student Maggie Hire said that they were “especially interested in considering the ways in which a work of art would dialogue with other artworks from the collection and how that dialogue might promote learning moments.” [The Chicago Maroon]


Designing a Collection Plan | Recording and Resources

On Tuesday, October 22 at 3 PM (EST), the RAAMP Coffee Gathering focused on the process of creating Collection Plans in academic art museums.  This topic emerged from an inquiry on the AAMG listserv and revealed a curious lack of publicly available collection plan examples. In order to continue the conversation in real-time, we carved out time for colleagues embarking on this process — or those who have finished — to share their expertise and questions that arose at their own organizations.

Some of the questions that started the conversation included:

  • What sections should be included in a collection plan?
  • How does the collection plan integrate others, such as the university’s strategic plan, interpretive plan, and/or collections management policy?
  • Who should be involved in creating the document?
  • How might an academic art museum include their various communities in the process?
  • With colleagues in your museums, how do you successfully have conversations on how to limit or focus a collection, especially at an encyclopedic museum?
  • How might this document be helpful for donors?
  • Do you share your collection plan publicly?
  • How often do you revisit and revise your collection plan?

Questions for a Collection Plan Survey 

We would like to continue this discussion on Collection Plans through gathering additional information through a survey. We will to collect more information on what sections collections plans include, who is involved in their creation, who can access the finished (or abridged) product, and how frequently academic art museums revisit or edit them.

You may take the survey here. There are 33 questions, which will take about 20 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Example Collection Plans

AAM Collections Planning Resources (requires an AAM member login)

Augustana College Teaching Museum of Art Collections Management Policy (this includes language about gift of endowment funds in section 4 b iii 1)

Abridged Collections Plan: Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersberg College (Revised 2014)

Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University



Dodge Assistantships – Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University

Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, September 1, 2020 – June 30, 2025
Application deadline: Jan 10, 2020

Dodge Assistantships at the Zimmerli Art Museum for Graduate Study in the Department of Art History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ

The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University offers Dodge Graduate Assistantships to doctoral candidates admitted to the Department of Art History who are committed to research on unofficial art of the former Soviet Union. Established in 2002 with a generous endowment from the Avenir Foundation in honor of Norton T. and Nancy Dodge, this assistantship program provides full tuition, fees, and health benefits, as well as an annual stipend for living expenses, to graduate students (known as Dodge Fellows). Travel funds for research and language study abroad, as well as for participation in conferences, are also available to Dodge Fellows by formal application.
Dodge Fellows are eligible for five years of assistantship funding. During the course of the first three years, students work 15 hours a week in the Zimmerli’s Russian and Soviet curatorial offices; the subsequent two years support dissertation research and writing without any work obligation.

Work at the Zimmerli Art Museum is supervised by Dr. Jane A. Sharp, Professor of Art History and Research Curator for the Dodge Collection, and Dr. Julia Tulovsky, Curator for Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art, with the assistance of other museum staff. The fellows perform a variety of tasks such as curatorial assistance in exhibition and catalogue production as well as administration and collection management. During the third year Dodge Fellows are given the opportunity to curate their own exhibition from the Zimmerli’s Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection.

Application and Selection Process:
Dodge Assistantships are awarded by the Department of Art History in consultation with the Zimmerli’s Director and staff to incoming graduate students.
Applications for the fall semester are due by January 10th, 2020.
For information about the Dodge Assistantships, contact Professor Jane Sharp at jasharp@arthist.rutgers.edu.



The Spencer Museum of Art Has a New Curricular Resources Database

The Spencer Museum of Art is excited to share a new resource that we invite you to explore! Developed by and for university educators, the Spencer Museum of Art’s Curricular Resources Database brings together a variety of assignments and activities that incorporate the Museum’s collections.


With the Curricular Resources Database, you can:

  • Browse a variety of assignments and activities that incorporate the museum’s collections.
  • Search assignments and activities by keyword, activity type, class size, and more
  • Connect your curricular topics and goals to works in the Spencer’s collections.
  • Adapt assignments across topics, departments, and disciplines.
  • Contribute your own assignment!

You can access the database at https://spencerartapps.ku.edu/curricular-resources.

Questions? Contact Academic Programs at 785.864.0136 or academic@ku.edu.


We would appreciate your feedback on our new database as we continue to develop educational resources. Click here to take an approximately two minute survey about the Curricular Resources Database that will provide us with invaluable information. Many thanks to all of our contributors who have made this resource possible!

School Board in San Francisco Voted to Remove Victor Arnautoff’s “The Life of George Washington” Mural

In 1934, commissioned by the Works Progress Administration, Victor Arnautoff painted thirteen frescoes at George Washington High School. The images depict Washington as a slaveowner and his detriment to Indigenous populations and their land. The school board voted to remove the mural. [Hyperallergic]

Read the CAA’s response to the school board’s decision to destroy the mural. [CAA]