The Berman Museum of Art is a place where both students and alumni can obtain the valuable hands-on experience of curating exhibitions. The summer 2011 exhibition, Liminality and the Ephemera: To Enter and Exit, Mark Unmark, featuring recent graduates of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, is curated by Menaka Gopalan, Class of 2007. She is also an artist participating in the exhibition.
The fall 2011 exhibition is being organized by Lisa Minardi 2004, an assistant curator at Winterthur. The landmark exhibition, Pastor & Patriarch: Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and his Legacy, 1711-2011, celebrates the 300th anniversary of the birth of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg on Sept. 6. Minardi is a Muhlenberg historian. He is the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America and progenitor of one of the most influential Pennsylvania German families in history. Minardi was a Museum Studies major at Ursinus, and curated two exhibitions while she was a student, including, with classmate Sara Kauffman in 2005, “Creation: Art, Identity, Spirituality; Selections from the Permanent Collection,” and she had also curated “Selections from the Pensylvania German collection” at the Historical Society of Trappe, which operates the Henry Muhlenberg house.
Robert Ellison 2008, an art major double with business, also had the opportunity to work in curation at the Berman Museum, with The Art in Looking: A Student’s View of Albert Barnes’ Vision. The Moorestown, N.J. native was the first student to complete the museum’s uratorial initiative, two intensive semesters of coursework open to juniors, culminating in the curating and installation of an exhibition.
Berman Museum Director Lisa Hanover, sees the museum not only as a desitnation to view art, but also as a resource for innovative educational programming. “The Museum,” she says, “serves as a laboratory for students in all disciplines to do independent research on objects, develop Summer Fellows projects that incorporate a visual component, or to work as museum assistants with hands-on opportunities in all facets of the museum operation.”