Geneseo has added a museum studies minor as of this semester. Professor and chair of art history Lynette Bosch coordinated the minor.
“There is a lot of employment in commercial galleries for people with art history degrees and there’s also employment in auction galleries,” Bosch said. “If you have an art history major and a museum studies minor, you’re very marketable, even if you only have a [bachelor of arts].”
According to Bosch, however, a minor in museum studies is still practical for those who are not seeking museum employment directly after Geneseo. “If you have a joint program where you did an art history major and a museum studies minor, you look more attractive [to graduate schools],” she said.
The two basic required classes for the museum studies minor are ARTH 378: Museum Studies and ARTH 387: Research Methods in Art History. Students can choose from a list of other classes to finish the minor.
“The courses are to get you aware of how the concept of a global museum—which is really everything that’s in the world—is grounds for study and preservation, conservation to a degree,” Bosch said.
She added that there are “all kinds of museums,” including not just art museums, but science and history museums as well. “Our courses allow for people to expand on what they may already be interested in, in conjunction with museums,” she said.
In addition to these new required classes, the museum studies minor has an internship requirement. Associate Director for Internship Opportunities Rob DiCarlo worked with Bosch to design the internship component, which will begin in spring 2016.
“[Bosch] shared with me that she would like me to work with her to identify suitable organizations where her students could intern and kind of prescreen so that … we could refer [the students] directly to the organizations knowing that things had already sort of been paved for them,” DiCarlo said.
Initially, DiCarlo and Bosch focused on internship opportunities within walking distance of campus. Local internship opportunities include the Livingston County Historical Society and Museum and Geneseo’s own Milne Library.
“Bosch thought that, initially—since we have a lot of students from downstate that don’t have a lot of access to transportation—if we could set up some really interesting local opportunities that students could just walk to, we could kind of treat the campus and the town and the county as sort of a living museum,” DiCarlo said.
Over the next month, however, DiCarlo plans to start lining up internships in the Rochester area and beyond. Possibilities in Rochester include the George Eastman House, Memorial Art Gallery and the Strong National Museum of Play—all of which have collaborated with Geneseo in the past.
“We’ve got alums that are in some high profile places, like at the Smithsonian or other galleries,” DiCarlo said. “There might be a possibility that—sometime down the road—students could do internships like that.”
According to Bosch, while it appears that there is the most interest in the museum studies program within the art history major, the minor is open to students of any major.
“You can link it to anthropology, you can link it to communication, you can link it to history, geography—any number of things,” Bosch said. “I’m always very practical. If you study something in college, it should help you earn a living.”