Last fall, Art History undergraduates in the Museum Object class produced and hosted The Thrill of the Hunt: Dynamics of Authenticity in African Tourist Arts in the WJB Gallery under the direction of PhD student Jennifer Baez. Twenty-three students – the largest group ever to participate in the exhibition class – pulled together an impressive display of African sculptures, masks, and statuary curated from the FSU Museum of Fine Arts collection. The exhibition considered the cultural traditions associated with these objects and the effects of tourism and collecting. This ranged from the colonial trade in Sapi ivories to the birth of Modernism, which fashioned Western tastes for the African artifacts.
The Museum Object class gives Art History undergraduates a thorough experience in exhibition development, from curation to fundraising, installation, and museum education. It’s all possible thanks to the participation of College of Fine Arts staff, the generosity of university and local collections, the support of the community, and the availability of the WJB Gallery as a teaching and exhibition space for student work. This spring the class is working on an exhibition of 18th- and 19th-century prints and maps of Saint Domingue (Haiti/Hispaniola) from the collections of Edouard Duval-Carrié.
photos by Breanna Bruner