This fall, Art History alumna Susan Davis Baldino (MA 1993) combined her talents and passions to co-curate “What Forever Feels Like: Artists and Autism” at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts. The show is the second exhibition in a series of curatorial endeavors that seeks to expose museum visitors to the beauty and challenges of the world’s fastest growing developmental disability. Susan works with the FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and the FSU College of Medicine Autism Institute to produce these exhibitions. The first one, part of FSU’s Opening Nights’ celebration in 2013, was entitled “I Am Me: Artists and Autism” and was nationally recognized in the American Alliance of Museums report “Museums on Call: How Museums Are Addressing Health Issues.”
Susan earned her M.A. in Art History at FSU and her Ph.D. in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester (U.K.). Her study of inclusive learning in museums for students on the autism spectrum resulted in an invitation to deliver the inaugural doctoral lecture in 2011 for the College of Arts, Humanities and Law at Leicester. In 2012, Susan’s chapter on museums and autism appeared in Sandell and Nightingale’s Museums, Equality and Social Justice (Routledge). From 2011-2013, Susan served on the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. She is also a longstanding board member of the Florida Association of Museums Foundation and has served as its chair.
For the past 14 years, Susan has taught seminars in museum studies and public history for the Departments of History and Art History at FSU. She led the “World Museum Class” for FSU International Programs in Valencia and London. This year, Susan has developed an E-Series course taught under the auspices of the Department of Art History for the Honors program. The course, “Museums: Three Promises for Humanity” (IFS 2066), deals with global issues of progressive learning, inclusion and social justice.