UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS & PARTNERSHIPS
2011â€”2012 ACADEMIC YEAR
PROGRAM OVERVIEW During the 2011-2012 academic year, University Programs & Partnerships at the Rubin Museum welcomed over 10,000 college students and their faculty to engage meaningfully with the art and cultures of Himalayan Asia. We expanded our base of institutional Partnerships from one in 2010, represented by Baruch College, to include eight institutions of higher learning by the fall of 2011: Baruch College; Queens College; John Jay College; Hunter College; Queensborough Community College (QCC); Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC); The New School; and St. Francis College. Baruch and Queens College upgraded their Partnership levels from Standard to Plus level to include alumni admission. A combination of faculty outreach via e-blasts, private curricular connections meetings, and Professional Development seminars resulted in a significant increase of museum visitation for Partner institutions. In addition to partner programs the museum also facilitated the Asian Studies Circle Program, a University Open House, and a special project with the FIT Graduate Exhibition Design program.
University Open House The first University Open House weekend at the Rubin Museum of Art Saturday, September 17 – Sunday, September 18, was a fun, lively, and well attended event. During the weekend, many students, faculty, and staff took advantage of the opportunity to visit the museum free of charge. Visitors attended thematic gallery tours, followed a self-guided scavenger hunt, and enjoyed savoring artwork quietly on their own. We were particularly happy to see so many students from our University Partnership institutions, including Baruch College, John Jay College, Hunter College, Queens College, Queensborough Community College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. Many students commented that they had never visited the museum before and looked forward to coming back. As Marcos Stafne, Director of Education & Visitor Experience commented, “it was truly a joy to see so many first-time visitors in the galleries engaging and enjoying the art and exhibitions.”
Asian Studies Circle The Asian Studies Circle at the Rubin Museum of Art provides a unique opportunity for university faculty and researchers interested in Asian Studies and related topics to meet at the museum for informal discussion and private exhibition tours. Gallery talks are usually held once a semester for faculty and are designed to help educators develop curricular connections and utilize the museum as an extension of the classroom. In August, Serinity Young, Professor of Asian Studies at Queens College and adjunct faculty at Eugene Lang College reviewed plans for an undergraduate course based on the Rubin Museumâ€™s exhibition, Pilgrimage & Faith: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. While visiting the galleries, Professor. Young provided examples of teaching methods employed with students to help them engage deeply with the art, ideas, and rituals represented in the exhibition. In December the ASC was led on a private exhibition tour with Curator Beth Citron, whose engaging gallery talk inspired a lively evening discussion, and paved the way for faculty to build curricular connections to the Modernist Art from India: The Body Unbound exhibition.
CUNY COLLEGE PARTNERS
Baruch College The most active museum attendance among our CUNY Partners during the ’11—‘12 academic year was Baruch College, with 2,228 students visiting from August 2011—May 2012. Peer Mentor Program: Strong attendance on the part of Baruch College was due, in large part, to multiple gallery visits lead by Baruch Peer Mentors, upperclassmen who were trained at the museum to give gallery visits to Freshmen peers. This innovate program brought approximately 700 students to the museum in the Fall of 2011. Rubin-Baruch Faculty Fellows Program: A second cohort of five Faculty Fellows, selected from the School of Arts and Sciences, Zicklin School of Business, and the School of Public Affairs, integrated museum collections into course curricula and brought their students to the museum during the Fall and Spring semesters. Donna Gitter, Associate Law Professor, brought 60 of students to meet with Marilena Christodoulou, Director of Finance and Administration, for a talk on non-profit management and then toured the museum. Fine and Performing Art Professors Katherine Behar and Zoë Sheehan brought a combined total of 60 art students for tours. Amy Estes, Lecturer in Arts Administration, brought approximately 100 theater students for tours. Don Waismen, Assistant Professor Rhetoric, brought approximately 25 Political Communication students for tours. Upcoming: Summer Fellows: Eight more Baruch Faculty Fellows have been selected for the summer of 2012. Each one will receive a Summer Planning Grant from Baruch College . Grantees attended a museum orientation on June 28th that included a tour and a discussion of research goals to help them develop curricula inspired by our collections. Academic Conference Spring 2013: Discussions are under to hold an academic conference to address university/museum partnerships. 4
CUNY COLLEGE PARTNERS
John Jay College John Jay College was an enthusiastic supporter of our institutional Partnership. Kevin Nesbitt, University Liaison, actively promoted museum visitation among faculty, including professors of History, Anthropology, and Criminal Psychology. Rubin Museum Essay Contests: Nesbitt helped to facilitate two school-wide essay contests in the Fall of 2011, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) and funded by the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. Contest guidelines asked students to analyze museum artwork as seen through the lens of Criminal Justice. The result was a surge of John Jay student visitation in September, October, and November, totaling 375, compared to 214 for the same period last year.
The range of topics and pieces of art [the students] have chosen to include in their essays show how they extrapolated from dark personal experiences new possibilities, and that there is light in the pursuit of alternative remedies in life.…
The Student Panel Competition. The first essay contest selected 4 winners out of 39 applicants and gave each one a stipend to work with a John Jay faculty member who helped them craft a paper to present at a student panel at John Jay’s Literature & Law Conference, March 30, 2012 (cochaired by Laura Lombard). Papers were published in John Jay’s Finest, an in-house publication that promotes writing excellence. The Rubin Essay Award. The second essay contest selected 3 winners out of 43 applicants and gave cash prizes of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively. According to Nesbitt, “the range of topics and pieces of art [the students] have chosen to include in their essays show how they extrapolated from dark personal experiences new possibilities, and that there is light in the pursuit of alternative remedies in life. …I have had the unique position of being able to work on and see the transformative effect of arts infusion into a Social Justice-focused undergraduate education.”
CUNY COLLEGE PARTNERS
Hunter College Hunter College and University Programs at the museum have laid the groundwork for some exciting collaborative projects that will provide opportunities for deep and meaningful engagement with our collections. Arts Across The Curriculum: Dara Meyers-Kingsley, Director of the Arts Across the Curriculum Program at Hunter, worked closely with the museum in the Spring of 2012 to boost interdisciplinary collaboration among Hunter’s arts departments and introduce the arts into non-arts related disciplines. Teaching Tuesdays: Making Museum Visits Work, March 20, 2012. Meyers-Kingsley invited the museum to participate in a panel discussion, Teaching Tuesdays: Making Museum Visits Work. The panel brought together museum educators from the Rubin Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to explore museum collections through visits and online resources. 30 faculty members attended. Arts Across The Curriculum Summit, April 26, 2012: The Rubin Museum participated in Hunter College’s Arts Across Curriculum Summit. The Summit consisted of two days of panel discussions, lectures, and workshops with Hunter faculty and cultural partners reviewing AAC programs and developing future projects. Approximately 20 faculty members attended. Dara Meyers-Kingsley Curricular Connections Meeting: Dara Meyers-Kingley met with Laura Lombard at the museum and toured the galleries while discussing how Hunter faculty across disciplines might connect with museum collections. Upcoming: Christian Luczanits’ Graduate Art History Course: Senior Curator Christian Luczanits will teach Exhibiting Tibetan Art for Hunter’s Graduate Art History Department in the Fall of 2012. Students will participate in the planning of two museum exhibitions, focusing on installation strategies as well as thematic connections and communication.
CUNY COLLEGE PARTNERS
Queensborough Community College QCC administrators and faculty and University Programs and have collaborated on a number of programs and initiatives both at the museum and at QCC. University Partner Liaison Margot Edlin promoted the museum among faculty and staff during new faculty orientation in the Fall of 2011, at two adjunct faculty orientations, and at the beginning of the Spring 2012 semester. Professional Development Training, November 18, 2011. A PD training for faculty at the museum modeled ways QCC faculty can lead gallery tours and develop course content for diverse student populations. 16 faculty members from diverse departments attended. QCC Faculty Orientation, May 10, 2012. QCC hosted a museum orientation for faculty in their Art Gallery. A PowerPoint about the museum and our collections led to a discussion with faculty on developing course content and curricular connections. The event was organized and promoted by Kitty Bateman, Director of the Adult Literacy Program, at QCC. 20 faculty attended. Google Art Project, May 23, 2012: QCC faculty participated in the Google Art Project (GAP) workshop held at the museum. The workshop explored how GAP might be used to enhance museum visits and enrich classroom curriculum. 3 faculty members attended. CALTA21: Kitty Bateman and Patricia Lannes received an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant to promote community college and museum partnerships via CALTA21 (Cultures and Literacies through the Art for the 21st Century). Profs. Bateman and Lannes invited CUNY community college educators to the museum for an intensive two-day training to learn how to give non-directed, inquiry based tours using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). 15 CUNY faculty participated and 10 Rubin Museum educators participated. Upcoming: CALTA tours facilitated by CUNY faculty will be held at the museum throughout the summer semester. Faculty will bring groups of Adult English Language Learners to practice VTS. These students will then bring their families to the museum for a visit.
CUNY COLLEGE PARTNERS
Borough of Manhattan Community College BMCC faculty and administrators explored the benefits of partnering with the museum through two faculty meetings held at BMCC and follow-up tours at the museum. Center for Ethnic Studies Meeting, October 15, 2011. Marcos Stafne and Laura Lombard met with administrators at the CES to promote partnership opportunities. After the meeting Zetta Elliot, Professor of African American Studies, brought 30 students to the museum. Faculty Meet & Greet and Catalog Donation, March 14, 2011: Marcos Stafne and Laura Lombard met with faculty and staff at the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CETLS), to discuss museum resources and to donate 8 catalogs to BMCCâ€™s Library. 20 faculty participated. Upcoming: Baruch-Rubin Summer Planning Grant Recipient 2012: Professor Michelle Wang from the Department of Cooperative Education was awarded a Baruch-Rubin Summer Planning Grant to integrate museum collections into course curricula. After a curricular connections meeting with Laura Lombard, she brought her summer students to the museum for 4 tours.
CUNY COLLEGE PARTNERS
Queens College Queens College continues to engage deeply with the museum through on-site courses taught by Asian Studies faculty in our Education Center. QC students came to the museum for classes and attended the galleries for multiple visits. The percentage increase of museum attendance for Queens College this year in relation to last year was over 1000%. Some museum staff members audited these courses, providing exciting Professional Development and enrichment opportunities. Queens College Courses 2011-12: Professors Gopal Sukhu and Serinity Young, East Asian Studies professors, each taught a 3-credit course in the museum’s Education Center: East Asian Civilization I in the Fall of 2011, and East Asian Civilization II in the Spring of 2012. On Saturday, December 10, 2011 graduate Art Education students from Queens College teamed up with the Rubin Museum to perform the puppet show, Tales From the Himalayas. Under the direction of Dr. Rikki Asher, giant elephants, monkeys, crocodiles, and more gave life to traditional Himalayan legends. After the performance students participated in a talk-back session and explained how they made their giant puppets. Upcoming: Himalayan/ Tibetan Studies Minor: Queens College will offer a Himalayan/Tibetan Studies minor with courses taught by faculty in the Education Center starting Fall of 2012. PRIVATE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY PARTNERS
The New School for Liberal Arts The New School formed a Partnership with the museum in the Fall of 2011, providing opportunities for New School students attending one of their seven colleges to visit the museum for free. The New School’s focus on student-centered learning and interdisciplinary programs, as well as their proximity to the museum, provided faculty opportunities to deeply embed museum’s collections into course curricula through multiple gallery visits and innovative research projects. Approximately 1500 New School students visited the museum during the 2011-12 academic year. Twelve faculty members at the Eugene Lang College developed courses inspired by museum collections, as well as staff expertise, bringing Lang students to the museum for multiple visits:
Eugene Lang College Courses Fall 2011 Himalayan Art and Culture, taught by Adam Swart, introduced students to the traditional visual art forms of the Himalayan region and how geography, topography, politics, religion, history, and ethnicity play a role. This four credit course included numerous trips to the museum. Responding to Non-Western Art, taught by Susan Hambleton, introduced students to the aesthetic, spiritual, societal, and political force of non-Western Art. In response, students made three art projects by responding creatively to concepts and rituals within sacred traditions. Religions of South Asia, taught by Michael Sheehy, explored the plurality of religious expression in South Asia by examining the philosophical, creative, and contemplative life of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam. Class discussions addressed spiritual transformation through art, ritual, yoga, mythology and literature. 9
Pilgrimage, taught by Serenity Young, examined the role of pilgrimage in five religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the meaning of pilgrimage in America and contemporary life. The course was designed in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition Pilgrimage and Faith, July 1, 2011 - October 24, 2011. Buddhism and Cognitive Science, taught by Christopher Kelley, explored and critically evaluated the intersection between Buddhism and cognitive science. Students examined social and clinical psychology, moral philosophy, phenomenology, neuroscience, Buddhist studies, and experimented with various meditation techniques.
Eugene Lang College Courses Spring 2012 Lang at the Rubin, taught by Ashley Mask, explored the Rubin Museum as the leading cultural institution for Himalayan art in the U.S. through an analysis of institutional values and broader cultural implications within contemporary culture. During field trips to the museum, students met with museum curators, educators, and senior museum leaders. Himalayan Art and Culture: Tibet, Mongolia, and Bhutan, taught by Adam Swart, introduced students to artistic and cultural heritages of Himalayan Tibet, Mongolia, and Bhutan through observation, research, and critical thinking of the iconography, symbolism, content, and meaning found within traditional sacred images. This course included several field trips to the museum. Image/Text, taught by Simonetta Moro, explored the relationships between the written word (poetry and narrative) and the pictorial image through various time periods. Students analyzed several historical instances of overlaps and cross-reference between the text-based and the image-based fields, and collaborations between poets/writers and visual artists, culminating in a final creative project. The Divine on Display: Sacred Objects in Museums, taught by Marcos Stafne and Laura Lombard, examined sacred objects, images, and ideas in sacred and secular spaces. Points of convergence and difference were illuminated through visiting museums, temples, churches, and shops in New York City. The museum served as a laboratory for exploration and development of a final creative project. Buddhist Sutra Literature, taught by Michael Sheehy, examined Buddhist source literature as found within the Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan language canons. Discussions concentrated on the philosophical, literary, and cultural import of Buddhist canonical writings, the Buddhist science of textual interpretation, practices and performances associated with sutras, and the production, translation, and reception of the Buddha’s discourses across Asia. Foundations of East Asian Religions, taught by Neil McGee, introduced students to the major religions of East Asia–Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and popular religion–mainly through extensive exploration of primary and literary sources in translation. Students studied the sources of East Asian religions and explored how these traditions have been transformed and continue to play a critical role in the world today. Buddhist Meditation, taught by Ethan Nichtern examined the origins, history, philosophy, and benefits of Buddhist meditation. Students learned the fundamentals of developing a meditation practice with the goal of learning how to apply these principles to everyday life.
PRIVATE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY PARTNERS
St. Francis College St. Francis College, a small liberal arts college in Brooklyn Heights, became the museumâ€™s eighth university Partner in November 2011. Alexandria Egler, University Liaison, actively promoted the museum among SFC faculty and is looking forward to developing collaborative programs between SFC and the museum for the Fall of 2012. Professional Development: March 15, 2012: During a PD hosted at the museum, SFC faculty members from the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, English Department, Womenâ€™s Studies Center, American Studies Program, Education Department, Fine Arts Department, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Department of Psychology, toured the galleries and discussed options for curricular connections. 10 faculty attended.
Fashion Institute of Technology In the fall, the FIT Graduate Program in Exhibition Design sought our participation as a site for a student Exhibition Design Project. As a participating site, the museum was asked to issue a request for proposals from the students for ways to hypothetically renovate a few aspects of the museum, most notably: the facade, the admissions/lobby area, and the second floor gallery space. Rubin staff members attended the preliminary proposal presentations, and gave feedback for each team of designers. It was a valuable exercise for all involved, as the museum was able to hear a host of new ideas about how to experience the museum, and the students are able to consult with current museum professionals and receive extensive feedback on their work. The Exhibition Design course is rigorous and the presentations were, on the whole, imaginative and well-thought out.
FIT Student Designs