Friday evening, October 27th, the University Gallery hosted a reception for the Missouri Associations for Museums and Archives, whose annual meeting was in Kirksville this year (October 26-28). Amanda Langendoerfer, Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections and Museums, was the local representative for the conference, and organizer of the events. Several students attended the conference, which included pre-conference workshops at the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine and days of presentations from museum and archive professionals at the Missouri Department of Conservation regional office on Friday, and at Truman State University on Saturday. Art faculty members Dr. Heidi Cook, Dr. Josh Hainy, and Dr. Sara Orel attended all or part of the conference, along with several Truman students and others from as far away as Kyrgyzstan.
Students are doing exciting things over the summer. Here are just a few of them. Check back over the summer for pictures and updates from students and faculty, who are traveling all over the U.S. and around the world, and having adventures as they go.
Lisa Simms writes: “I will be the assistant supervisor in the summer program called the C.A.R.E. art gallery where I will be helping young high school artists hone their craft and work on different art mediums and techniques each week!” This gallery is in Columbia, just down the road from Truman.
Another student has gone a bit further for her professional experience this summer:
Corin Hoke will be interning at the Benjamin Franklin House in London from June 17-August 15. She does not have an official title but will be helping lead tours, completing a special project of her choice, and possibly editing a book of the home’s architecture and writing articles.
Students in Dr. Orel’s Museum Studies class this semester (Object and Collections Management) have been investigating the local fauna of Northeast Missouri in preparation for an exhibit on “Rural Roots: People and the Land” for the Ruth Towne Museum on campus next year. They have spent some time in the Biology Department preparing specimens for display and visited the Northeast Regional Office for the Missouri Department of Conservation. (Warning: Photos of creepy/crawly creatures below)
Recently the Museum Studies class taught by Dr. Sara Orel took an afternoon trip to visit the General John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historical Site. General Pershing is an alumnus of Truman, then the Missouri State Normal School, which he attended for two years before leaving for West Point. While at the museum, students had an opportunity to view a variety of types of display settings, from the historic home itself, set up to look as it would have in the 1870s and 80s, a small schoolhouse that serves as the primary display space for the museum’s collection of objects, and the new museum building, which is in the process of renovation and will provide a much-expanded space for both permanent and changing exhibits.
The host for the visit was Denzil Heaney, administrator and curator of the site. His enthusiasm and flair for storytelling and the importance of the site were quite inspiring for the students, who subsequently prepared exhibition proposals to take advantage of the new museum space. There are exciting opportunities for Truman collaboration with the Pershing Historic Site, a state park that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year. The current interest in the centenary of the Great War means the number of visitors will only continue to increase.
Truman’s quickly-growing Museum Studies program, still informally structured but with a strong track record of graduate school and job placement, provides internships across the state of Missouri which are available to students of all majors, including Art History, Studio Art, and Visual Communications, but also students in fields including Anthropology, History, Communication, Biology, Chemistry, and many others..
If you are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary program in Museum Studies at Truman, contact Dr. Sara E. Orel (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.