Museum studies minor enhances art curriculum

Geneseo witnessed an expansion to the list of minors offered this semester. Coordinated by professor of art history Lynette Bosch, a museum studies minor will be added to the curriculum. Visiting assistant professor of art history Alla Myzelev will be aiding Bosch in the implementation of this new minor. The minor is based centrally in the art history department, but also includes a selection of interdepartmental electives through the communication, business and anthropology departments, among others.

Myzelev has experience in museums, working as an acting curator in Casa Loma in Toronto, serving as a member of the curatorial committee for the Feminist Art Conference and teaching museum studies courses at other schools.

“I really enjoy [teaching museum studies] because it’s really fun,” Myzelev said. “Students learn a lot more doing hands on projects and they learn better. We’re going to become one big co-op when we’re working together on the same project.”

To kick it off, Myzelev will be teaching a general museum studies course in the spring and will add others to her course load as the semesters progress.

She explained that the course will have students reading texts on the history of museums, but will also include numerous hands-on experiences, as students will have the opportunity to create their own museum exhibits.

“We’re definitely working with doing an exhibition in Kinetic Gallery,” Myzelev said. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like yet because the students will be making that happen.”

She also hopes to use the display cases in Milne Library as a display for the students’ work, giving them more exposure and an opportunity to curate. Myzelev added that she is also looking into other galleries and areas to exhibit the future student work. Stating that she was most excited for this “hands-on” aspect of the course. Myzelev said that this minor opens up numerous doors for the students who add it.

“The minor itself will allow them to find jobs easier,” Myzelev said. “If they want to, they can continue to do a museum studies masters degree. It’s always a good idea to have some practical experience, even if they don’t further their museum studies. They can also combine taking museum studies courses with doing an internship somewhere in a cultural institution or gallery.”

Because of this, she noted the importance of having a museum studies minor on campus. “I think there has been overall thought––especially coming from parents––that art is not a practical subject to study,” Myzelev said. “So the museum minor connects between the practical world and art.”