Opportunities for Research

Jan Steen

Opportunities for Research and Career Experience: All Art History majors take at least one special seminar designed to provide the opportunity for in-depth research and writing in the field under the close guidance of a faculty member. For students who intend to continue on to a master's degree or a Ph.D. in art history, or even in another academic area, seminar work is particularly valuable, both educationally and as a source of research experience. Students are also encouraged to conceive and execute special projects using the facilities of the University Museums and their Curatorial Apprenticeship Program. Often these projects grow out of coursework as well. For example, one student became interested in a University Museums etching which was the object of scholarly controversy regarding the identity of the artist who produced it. Through visits to other museums and extensive research into similar works, the student was able to demonstrate conclusively that the print was the work of Marcel Duchamp, a leading innovator in 20th-century art. Following up on the course project, the student arranged a Gallery internship that involved mounting a public exhibition focused on the process of analysis and comparison that had led to the identification of the work. The exhibition included visual displays of the analysis that had been done, as well as other objects that had been central to the process.