Museum Studies students visit High Museum, meet with expert curator

Oglethorpe’s prime location in Atlanta gives students the opportunity to explore the city and see what they’re learning in the classroom in action.

Students gathered around a scale moden with Dr. Claudia Einecke

Museum Studies students meet with Dr. Claudia Einecke at the High Museum of Art.

OU Museum of Art Director Elizabeth Peterson Jennings recently took her Museum Studies class to visit the High Museum of Art and meet with Dr. Claudia Einecke, the Frances B. Bunzl Family Curator of European Art.

“It is important for students to get out of the classroom and into museum spaces as part of the NPM 235 Museum Studies course,” says Jennings.

“I always endeavor to have the course structure and assignments reflect the nature of museum work.”

Students received a behind-the-scenes look at various scale models of the galleries, which curators use with exhibition design and production staff to finalize plans for exhibition layout, support, and walls.

They had a chance to see a model of the current exhibition, Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other, and later walked through the finalized version of the same exhibition with Dr. Einecke. 

“That kind of moment, which unravels the mystery of how exhibitions are created, is invaluable to our students interested in pursuing museum work,” says Peterson Jennings.

Student smiling at a photo on her phone of a scale model from "Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other", while standing in the same exhibition.

Cambriel Thomas viewing a scale model photo of a gallery in “Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other,” the same exhibition she’s standing in.

“Quite often in the arts, it is difficult to envision how one moves from planning to final product, but tours like this give our students a window into this world.”

Cambriel Thomas ’24, an Art History major, said she was grateful to have a first-hand look at what goes into conceptualizing, planning, and executing an exhibition, especially seeing the scale models curators and designers use.

“Later in the tour, we were shown these same exhibitions in real life, and I appreciated being able to match the reference scale model’s details to the actual execution of the display,” says Thomas.

“It was a surreal and exciting moment, as it truly showcased the power of effective curating and installation design as a storytelling tool.”

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