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ARTH301 for art history and curatorial skills

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a group of students sitting and standing on the steps of a brick building

​Students from spring 202​2 ARTH301

At the University of Delaware, ARTH301 Research Methods and Historiography in Art History is required by every art history student planning to earn a bachelor of arts in art history. The course introduces students to methods and major approaches to advanced art historical study. It also provides lessons on practical aspects of research and work in the broader scope of art historical professions. Students acquire research skills by learning to look, read, think, and write about art objects. Projects and assessments ensure that students can hone their research, writing, and analytical skills through the semester. Students acquire practical skills through projects and assessments designed for practical experience in museums and in working with collections of art and visual archives.

In spring 2022, ARTH301 was taught by Vimalin Rujivacharakul, and students in the class had great fun with practical lessons in the university museums and special collections. Rujivacharakul collaborated with a team of museum curators and archivists to organize four special sessions in which students learned the basics of curatorial and museum training. During these four sessions, students joined curators and archivists in museum galleries or archives for object studies and hands-on experiences. Leading the team was UD's Head Curator Amanda Zehnder, who was joined by Sharon Fitzgerald, Ashley Rye-Kopec, Janet Broske and Brian Kamen. From the Special Collections were Head of the Special Collections Tim Murray and archivist Alexander Johnston. Jessica Barth from UD's Media Center guest-lectured to train students to develop quality gallery talks.

Building a new tradition, students in ARTH301 of spring 2022 worked directly with objects from the University Museums and Special Collections' exhibitions. After each student selected their objects, their training began with writing short essays on formal analysis and then they carried out historical research on their objects. In the last two modules, they developed gallery talks before finally completing final research papers and giving public presentations in the last week of class.

The students' fast-paced progress within the course of the semester was “truly amazing," according to Rujivacharakul. “With weekly peer-reviews, students developed a collective commitment to excellence in scholarship. I am sincerely impressed at how each of them was so dedicated to helping others when peer-reviewing drafts and presentation scripts, and how they all learned within a matter of weeks to offer and work with constructive criticisms while sharing resources. They built their academic community in a classroom, and they thrived!"

Starting in the 2022-2023 academic year, ARTH301 will be open to art history majors, as well as to students minoring in art history and students majoring in art conservation. Art history faculty members take turns teaching​ ARTH301. ​

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Watch Gallery Talks developed by students from the spring 2022 ARTH301 class:​​​​

Gallery Talk by Sabrina Hettinger

Gallery Talk by Camryn Moore

Gallery Talk by Nick Fandaros

Gallery Talk by Tatum Chapdelaine

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Students in Vimalin Rujivacharakul's ARTH301 class collaborate with University experts in practical lessons.
6/16/2022
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ARTH301 for art history and curatorial skills