Half of Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s exhibitions last year were curated with the help of students. Of those, a few were actually organized by students, under the guidance of mentors. The New York Times describes a current show at the museum, curated by Michael Amano ’17 and Virginia Crow ’18, that features post-WWII pictures made by Hiroshima children, as well as works by the man who instigated a US-Japan art exchange for young students.
The Times says that the growing role of undergraduate students in college museums “reflects the distance that university museums have come from the era when they were, as Bowdoin Art Museum co-curator Anne Goodyear put it, ‘jewel boxes.'” Instead, they are seen as classrooms and laboratories.
Anne Goodyear tells the Times, “[Museums] are the training ground for future generations. We are addressing the question of why humanities matter. The museum is part of the college, and it is important that it be engaged with the college. It is a partner in developing a liberal arts education and curriculum.”