Rachael Faust, the Henry’s assistant curator of collections and academic programs, will be hosting a faculty information reception here at the Henry next week (read more about it here in UW Today). Though this reception is intended for UW staff and faculty I wanted to take a moment to remind you, dear Hankblog reader and/or UW student, of the value of social objects. Real things. Real works of art. There is just something about the physical distance between you and a work of art that allows you to consider it in a way you might not otherwise. Maybe its history. Maybe its half-lives. Maybe its realizing the relationship between the two. Either way there is something about proximity that changes ones consideration of a work or idea.
Perhaps you are in a class and would like to harness this power of encounter with a physical work of art. If so, you have a number of options. In addition to the obvious trip to the museum or guided tour you could also suggest to your professor a class visit to the Henry’s study center. Or perhaps you ARE a professor looking for new and innovative ways to convey an idea to your students. The study center is a good place to start, and Rachael can help you navigate the many ways in which objects and collections can be used to educate.
From UW Today;
“Faculty can explore the museum’s collections online and request objects to be pulled for teaching and study purposes. Through the Reed Collection Study Center faculty can request any type of object from the museum’s diverse collection of over 25,000 objects. Most museums have ‘medium-specific’ study centers — print study centers or photography study centers. At the Henry, faculty have access to all media: paintings, sculpture, ceramics, costumes and textiles, prints and drawings, and photographs.”