Oglethorpe introduces new minor in museum studies

Oglethorpe’s prime location in Atlanta has allowed students from different areas of study to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities and explore the city, especially visiting museums. Oglethorpe is leveraging student interest in archival work, the university’s location, and the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA) by introducing a new minor in Museum Studies starting in Fall 2024.

Ilissa McGowin hangs art on the wall

Ilissa McGowin ’25 hangs her art for her exhibition in the Oglethorpe Museum of Art.

OUMA is a teaching museum with a collection of 1,300 objects—including works from seven continents and over 700 years of history—and affiliations with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG), and the Southeast Museums Conference (SEMC). The museum has given students hands-on learning opportunities like curating exhibits and working with professional Atlanta artists.

“The museum studies courses, internships and continuous hands-on access to the collections have had an invaluable impact on my educational experience,” said Sophia Sobrino ’24. “I can confidently say that these enriching opportunities have laid a strong foundation for my future!”

Students walking through Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other exhibition with Dr. Claudia Einecke

Museum Studies students viewing “Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other” exhibition on a recent trip to the High Museum of Art.

With a Museum Studies minor, students will apply the professional skills and abilities needed to understand the basics of museum work, including museum communications, exhibition development and programming, and the ethical ramifications of collections management. Students explore the various aspects of a museum career, from administration to education and curatorial work to design and implementation.

“Museums today are looking for the next generation of innovative, creative, and critical thinkers who can work effectively across multiple disciplines,” said OUMA Director and Adjunct Professor Elizabeth Peterson Jennings. “This makes our liberal arts approach the perfect preparation for this dynamic field.”

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