Summer Institute for Museum Careers
for those who visit the world’s museums, the challenges
of effectively curating exhibitions, reflecting culture, managing
a flow of visitors and the logistics of maintaining collections
all remain behind the scenes. The business of running a museum,
though it can be fraught with difficult decisions and judgment
calls—and usually financial struggles—is preferably
shielded from the notice of patrons.
But in every museum,
behind the works of art, the educational displays and interactive
installations works a crew of coordinators and curators, educators,
managers, preparators, accountants and marketers to bring
the space to life.
summer, Smith College will begin a six-week program, the , that will introduce
to participants aspects of operating a museum. Program participants
will also plan and mount a full-scale exhibition at the Smith
College Museum of Art.
institute is directed by Suzannah Fabing, former director
and chief curator of the Smith College Museum of Art (1992–2005).
The SIAMS grew from a popular Interterm seminar on museum
studies taught by Fabing for 10 years when she directed the
seminar gave me a chance to find the most effective ways of
introducing students to the museum field,” she says.
“It was frustrating, however, because three weeks just
isn’t long enough to cover the subject. By making the
program twice as long, I think that problem will be solved.”
Though the SIAMS
focuses on art museums, it will examine areas relevant to
other types of museums as well, says Fabing, and she encourages
students from other fields, such as history or anthropology,
The Summer Institute
for Art Museum Studies is a rare opportunity for those interested
in museum careers, says Fabing. “I know of no other
summer program of this kind aimed at undergraduates,”
she says. “In a compact span of time, it covers much
of the material typically offered in a two-year graduate program
in museum studies. For those who are interested, there will
be lots of down-to-earth advice about specific jobs in museums,
how to get started on a museum career, and specialized advanced
training programs for curators, conservators, and museum educators.”
The SIAMS is intended
for undergraduates entering their junior and senior years,
and recent graduates with some background in art history and
interest in museum operation. Registration for the program,
which will run June 19 to July 28, requires an application
and other materials to be submitted by March 15.
for registration information.