El Camino College

Anthropology Department

Anthropology 20A: Introduction to Museum Studies -  Dr. Blair Gibson

Dr. D. Blair Gibson

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Class Information:

Anthropology MuseumAnthropology 20A
Room: AB301
M   1:00 pm - 3:05 pm  W 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

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Anthropology 20        Introduction
to Museum Studies
                         Fall 2012

Dr. Blair Gibson
Office: BSc 330D   Phone: (310)  532-3670  x3580 

Office Hrs: M, T, W, Th 8:30 - 9:00 AM; T, W, Th. 2:00-3:00.

email: dbgibson@elcamino.edu       Faculty index page: www.elcamino.edu/faculty/dbgibson
(the link to the class page is on this page)

Important! The dates, assignments and activities in this syllabus are subject to change.

This course is intended to introduce the student to professional careers in museums and galleries, and to working with artifacts and folk art. The course will cover most aspects of the management
and work of museums, but will concentrate most intensely upon the planning,
design, and installation of an exhibit of items from one or several cultures.

Textbook: The Manual for Museum Exhibitions, Lord and Lord

This is mostly a "hands on" type  of class, meaning that as a major part of this course students will be engaged in the running of the ECC Anthropology Museum, and in designing and installing
the year's exhibit. These activities are meant, together with the course texts
and lectures, to impart information to the student for which the student is
responsible. There will be a midterm and final exam on the text, reserve
readings, and lecture material. The midterm will have multiple choice questions,
and the final will be part essay, part multiple choice questions. There may
also be one or two short documents that the student will collaborate upon and
submit for evaluation.

Course Objectives

1. Describe the historical development of museums.

2. Identify the differences among various categories of museums and
discuss the effect of these differences in scale on museum organization.

3. Evaluate the role played in museum operations by curators,
conservators,exhibits designers, preparators, registrars, collections managers,
and education staff in order to understand the training that is appropriate to
enter these careers.

4. Prepare drafts of various policies which govern museums in the areas
of a museum's mission, object acquisition, and ethics.

5. Recognize the environmental and physical factors which endanger an
artifact and the safeguards and technology utilized in artifact conservation.

6. Apply techniques of collections management including how to (1) pack
valuable and delicate objects for transit, (2) recognize and document
materials, problems, and damage in objects in a condition report, (3) make
photographic records of artifacts and of damage and (4) handle and store
objects with different environmental requirements.

7. Identify how to conduct artifact registration including managing a
collection database.

8. Research and create an exhibit plan which would lay out the themes
and organization of an exhibit.

9. Prepare a scale design for a section of an exhibit with multiples
views, and showing the position of objects, props, furniture, mounts, graphics,
and labels by both traditional means and by using an autocad system.

10. Install a section of an exhibit with objects, mounts, furniture,
graphics, labels, and props.

11. Research and write label copy for an exhibit that would organize
and presents an exhibit's themes, and which describes and explains the
significance of objects on view.

12. Identify current trends in museum exhibit type, planning, and

The grade will rest upon attendance (including attendance upon any field trips), completion of lab hours, several short tests covering material in the texts and lectures, contributions to class
projects, completion of the stages of the development of the year's exhibit, the
installation of the exhibit, and a final exam.

Mounting an exhibit demands a fair amount  of responsibility, so it is critical that students adopt a responsible attitude towards participating in the work of the class. Absences will have a
detrimental effect on a student's grade in proportion to the total number of
absences beyond two, and how the absences affect the carrying out of an
installation. Non-disruptive absences from class meetings can be mitigated by
putting extra time into the museum.   

The student also shares in the fiduciary responsibility of the Anthropology
Museum for proper care while handling rare and fragile borrowed objects. To participate in this class
the student must pass on the first try the object handling test with a score
not lower than 70%. Even after passing the test if the student displays
carelessness in handling objects the student will be dropped from the class.

Students must also complete condition reports on every artifact that they request and receive before the exhibit's opening. This ensures that the student knows which artifacts fall under their responsibility,
and is knowledgeable about their condition.


The grade will be thus distributed:             exams 30%                                                 

attendance  25%

development and installation of exhibit  42%         

How does the grading system work?  You receive points for each test:

40 pts. for the object  handling test

30 pts. for the first midterm

50 pts. for the second midterm

80 pts. For the final

= 200 pts

and points for each contribution:

preliminary exhibit plan........   40 pts.

artifact list..........................10 pts.          

draft of label copy.................... 10 pts

final label copy........................ 40 pts.           

draft exhibit section design...... 10 pts.

final exhibit section design....... 40 pts.*

condition reports..................50 pts.

installation................................ 60 pts.

= 260 pts

* If it is a computer-assisted design.........30 bonus pts. !

The due dates for these assignments will be listed in the syllabus but may be adjusted, given
shifting circumstances. A notation will be marked on those assignments done on
time, and then they will be handed back to be retained by the student in a portfolio until the end of the semester. The portfolio will then be handed in to the instructor and reviewed
during the final period. The grade on assignments handed in late will be
dropped 10% per class meeting it is late, and I will be strict on this!
handed in during the last three weeks of class will receive no credit.

Installation: Following the exhibit opening, I will examine exhibits and grade the
installation, including label copy and conservation aspects. Notes on the
exhibit will be given to the student - amounting to areas where points have
been deducted. The student has until the end of the semester to act on the
notes to receive a restoration of ½ of the points that have been deducted. 

Museum Time Requirements

The time requirements for the class are 5 hours per week: three hours lab, two hours
lecture (Wed. 1-1:50 counts as lab time). This amounts to 85 hours for the semester. The grading, with respect only to the time portion of the class requirement, will therefore be as follows:

85 hours+    = A    
= 150 pts. (100%)

77-84 hours = B   

= 120 - 135 pts. (80-90%)

68-76 hours = C     = 105 - 119 pts. (70-79%)

60-67 hours = D     =  90  -
104 pts. (60-69%)

Attendance: You will be given a timesheet upon which you
will record all of the time you put into every aspect of the class. Timesheets
will be handed in on the last day of class. Decisions can't be made and the exhibit can't advance without the attendance of involved students at class meetings. Any student with six consecutive absences will be dropped and not readmitted. If you are tardy to class, that is if you
show up after I have taken attendance, this will count as ½ of an unexcused
absence resulting in a 30 min. time deduction. I will compare your timesheet against my attendance records at the end of the semester, and I will go exclusively with my records in the case of excessive
discrepancies between them and your time sheet (3+ is the limit).

What is acceptable as lab time?: Generally, any expenditure of time towards the
realization of your exhibit is acceptable as lab time on your time sheet - this
includes, in addition to time spent in the workroom or gallery, sessions with
the Vectorworks tutorial, research, trips to see comparable exhibits, trips to
pick up or return artifacts, time spent in writing labels, making designs, etc.
However, obviously it is crucial that the net result of time invested outside
of lecture is an exhibit which is complete by the opening reception. If your exhibit is substantially incomplete by the date of the reception, then the most points you may earn towards the time requirement is 119. As it is, your claims towards time spent on research will be evaluated against the evidence of your exhibit - e.g. if you claim 5 hours visiting web sites related to tile and
brick making, and the result is a label reading "Brick" I will be more than a little skeptical, and I will
discount those hours. Time spent researching topics unrelated to your final
exhibit will also be discounted. If you undertake a special trip, please seek advance
clearance from me first and supply material evidence of this trip with your
time sheet (a receipt of some kind will do).   

Extra Credit

Students may also make up point deficits by putting more time above 150 pts. into the
museum, to the tune of 2 points per hour.

Final Grade

The maximum number of points that can be earned outside of extra credit is 650. Therefore,
the semester grade scale will be

650 - 585 = A

584 - 520 = B

519 - 455 = C

454 - 390 = D

Week       Subject Matter

1      Introduction to museums and museum work:

Survey of Museums through space and time

Museum organization and careers in museums

Discussion of the upcoming exhibit         

The mission of museums: mission statements, policies, and ethics.

Introduction to the ECC Anthropology Museum's policies                         

Lord and Lord: Chpt. 1, Chpt. 4 to pg. 57.

Activities: Tour of the El Camino Anthropology Museum        

View Video: The Bible's Buried Secrets.

 Assignment: Begin to develop the preliminary exhibit plan and bibliography. Begin
background research on the exhibit in order to be able to choose a section of
the exhibit to work on.

Background lecture on the Museum theme: Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean:
motivations, history, discoveries, and changing perspectives.

Lord and Lord: Chpts. 2-3 & 5 to pg. 110

      Introduction to Vectorworks:  the museum's autocad software.

3      Exhibit planning I: Types of exhibits and the development of an exhibit plan.

The museum environment, artifact handling and conservation.

Lord and Lord: Chpt. 5: 110-141, Chpts. 6 & 8 to pg. 296, Chpt. 11

         Submit preliminary exhibit plan

Activity: compose exhibit teams, and select an area of the exhibit to be designed. 

Activity: training in museum environmental equipment and artifact handling.

Assignment: Revise exhibit plan with regard to your team's section.

4      Lecture: Collections management and registration 

        Activity: demonstration of Microsoft Access

Lecture and activity: the documentation and packing of art and artifacts. Training in
museum photography and packing techniques.

Exhibit planning II - Designing an exhibit: exhibit structure and display psychology

Lord and Lord: Chpt. 7

     Revised exhibit plan due Monday September 17th

     Preliminary artifact list due Wednesday September 19th

5      Exhibit planning III: Creating an exhibit design: principles and techniques

Lord and Lord: Chpt. 13

    Mon. Sept. 24th  Test #1: artifact  handling and conservation  (note, you
will be dropped from this class if you don't pass this test
; passing is 70%)

Activity:  exhibit drawing exercise

Assignment: Design exhibit section

Wednesday Sept. 26th: Midterm exam 1 on
the archaeology of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean.

: draft of introductory label copy due

6      Exhibit planning IV - Curatorship - labels and graphics

Lord and Lord: Chpt. 10; Chpt. 12

        Activity: demonstration of the museum's vinyl cutter

        Monday October 1st, draft of exhibit section design due.
(note: you will not be permitted to proceed on to the installation until draft
and final exhibit designs are submitted). 

Artifact arrangement and the making of furniture ("props").

        Activity: carpentry and plexiglass demonstrations

Assignment - commence composing the final section design.

7     Monday October 8th Midterm 2 on textbook readings and lectures

Exhibit Execution: light and color    Lord and Lord: Chpt. 15

Mount-making in various media

Activities: Dismantling of current exhibit; Mount-making demonstration

Wednesday October 10th Final exhibit design due, with list of necessary


8      Packing and shipping/registration of incoming artifacts

9      Activity: put out Day of the Dead display.                               

10    Day of the Dead Reception Tuesday, November. 1st

Work on exhibits

Wednesday October 31st, final version of label copy due.

11    Take Down Day of the Dead exhibit, Commence construction of exhibits.

12    Work on exhibits.

13    Work on exhibits.

14    Work on exhibits.

15  Exhibit Opening Wednesday December 5th Work on exhibits must be

before noon on this date.

Receive notes on exhibit.

Museums and education                  Lord and Lord: Chpt. 8.4  

Activity: correct exhibit flaws; clean up of installation aftermath.                   

Lecture: Funding and Grant Writing

16    Future trends in museums           Lord and Lord: Chpt. 18

Activity: Behind the scenes tour (TBA)  

Review for final

  Dec. 12th: Deadline for responding to exhibit notes.

  : Final Exam/portfolios/timesheets due on last class meeting.

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Course Material:

Study Guide for the Second Test

Neolithic Egypt

People: Gertrude Caton-Thompson, Willeke Wendrich.

Place: Faiyum oasis (aka Fayoum).

In the context of the Middle East, did agriculture come to Egypt early or late? Did ancient Egyptians
domesticate any crop or animal on their own? What is the peculiar nature of
Egyptian ecology and agriculture? Why were organic materials so well preserved
at the Faiyum?  

Southern Levant (Bibles Buried Secrets, Dever Books, Dead Sea Scrolls)

People: Israel Finkelstein, William Dever, John Garstang,
Kathlene Kenyon, Eliat Mazar, Ramses II.

Sites: Hazor, Jericho, Khirbet el-Qom, Megiddo, Jerusalem.

Objects: Tel Dan Stele, Merneptah Stele, Tel Zayit stone

Place: Canaan, Judea, Israel

Gods: YHWE, Ashera, El, Baal
(aka Ishtar, Esther)

Images: bull, busty woman.

What is biblical archaeology?  Who does it?

What is the documentary hypothesis? Why have archaeologists grown skeptical about the veracity of the Book of Exodus? Why are we uncertain about the timing of Moses' confrontation
with Pharoah? What is the earliest independent archaeological evidence for the
existence of the Israelis? What is the importance of the Tel Zayit stone? When
was Exodus committed to writing?

What does archaeological evidence say about the origins of the Israelis? Which classes of material
evidence are viewed as potential ethnic identifiers? When did Joshua's invasion
of Canaan supposedly take place? Why is it doubted by some archaeologists? Which
god is represented by a bull?

When did David supposedlylive? Which political accomplishments are attributed to him? Does
archaeological evidence exist that indisputably confirms his existence? It has
been claimed that David's palace has been found? Is the evidence rock-solid?
How is the evidence dated? Why hasn't carbon 14 solved the chronological
issues? What archaeological evidence is taken to prove the political
accomplishments of Solomon?

Judaism is currently a monotheistic religion. Was it so in ancient time? What was the character of
ancient Judaism? What were it's temples like? How was YWHE worshiped?

Jaffa - Aaron Burke. Pay attention to whatever comes out of Kristen's mouth.

Anthropology 20A      Museum Studies Midterm Study Guide   

Material covered: Lord and Lord – Chpts. 1 – 8, 10-13

Week 1 

How have museums evolved over the past 200 years?

How are museums typically organized? How do the various departments that make up a museum contribute to the exhibit planning process? Be familiar with Figures 1.1 and 1.3 in Lord and Lord.

What is an exhibit plan/brief? What are the phases of exhibit development? What are the alternatives available to a museum for how they approach the mounting of an exhibit?

What are mission statements and acquisitions policies and why are they important? What is a communications policy? What do these policies accomplish?

Who is the typical museum visitor? Of what use is it to survey the makeup of museum visitors? Who sponsors exhibits and what are their motivations? What techniques to museums employ to attract sponsors? What do museums want to know concerning visitor’s reactions?

Week 2  

What are the motivations for founding a museum? What are the pluses and minuses of having a permanent collection?  What are the fiduciary responsibilities of museums with respect to affected interested parties (the public, scholars, and collectors)? What do Lord and Lord consider the most important role of a museum to be? What is the current standing of the “curatorial approach” to exhibit development? What quality does a museum exhibit have that other forms of entertainment lack?

What are the roles of trustees and director? Which departments does one typically find in a medium-sized institution, and what roles do they play?

In which new ways do museums attempt to communicate with the public? What are the modes of exhibition apprehension? To which types of exhibits and museums do these modes correspond? What is the contrast between linear sequence and open access exhibits?

Be acquainted with the tension between market-driven and research-driven considerations in planning an exhibit. Should research be up to the curator or subject to external controls? How has the role of vested communities changed with regard to exhibit planning, and with regard to the traditional role of the curator?

Huupukwanum Tupaat case study – how did working with the Nuu-chaah-nulth structure how the exhibit was organized?

What are the desired effects of a good museum or gallery design? How do today's objectives differ from the way past museums were designed? What are design criteria? What is a functional programme? Which considerations are evaluated when space is allocated between display and storage? What is visible storage and why do museums opt for it?  What is vista distance? What is an exhibition staging area? How does a museum get people to visit upper galleries if it has multiple stories? How do bubble diagrams function in the design process? What is circulation? What are adjacencies?

Week 3 

See handout "Object handling do's and don'ts" Which factor most often leads to an object becoming damaged? What fundamental step is taken to avoid damaging an object? What is a recording hygrothermograph and how does it work? What does a psychrometer measure? What is relative humidity and by how much should it vary in a museum? Are environmental standards uniform, or do they vary by exhibit type? What kind of light is most dangerous? What is the relationship between a facilities report and a loan agreement? What is stratification? Which passive safeguards could be taken to protect a galleries' environment (that is not the case in our gallery)? What is integrated pest management? What are thermal gradients? What are microclimates? What danger does dust pose to a collection? What kinds of gasses are dangerous? What is off-gassing? Why shouldn't crates be unpacked in the gallery? Should galleries have sprinkler systems?

Why is the input of an education department important in exhibit planning? What modifications are made to an exhibit or gallery to accommodate the largest variety of people? What are the characteristics of an accessible label?

Heather Maximea would consider that our gallery has which attributes?  What is the enfilade pattern of circulation? Why is it no longer considered desirable? Which arrangement of rooms maximizes wall display space? Why is visible storage now popular? What are the space requirements of a thematic exhibit? What is a black box? What distinguishes children’s museums from other museums? How do children's exhibits differ from those not intended for children? What kind of museum has the largest space requirements? What is a study room? What is it intended to achieve?

Case Study: Alaska Native Heritage Center

What is the phototrophic effect? How does the Getty get away with using natural sunlight? How do available electric light sources vary with respect to UV and heat?

Be aware of the psychological effects of different colors.

When would one build a room within a room? What kind of gallery would use moveable walls? What are the requirements of walls of this type?

How far in advance are exhibits typically planned?  What are the differences between permanent exhibits, temporary exhibits, and traveling exhibits? What are the plusses and minuses of each type of exhibit? What is a loan exhibit? What is a package show? What is a blockbuster?

What types of standards must a museum live up to in order to receive a traveling or package exhibit?

What does a loan agreement accomplish? Why do museums charge for visits to an exhibit? How else can an institution cover its costs?

What are the differences between display, study, and reserve collections?

What is the thematic approach to display? What do Lord and Lord consider to be the optimum approach to display?

Case Study: African Zion

What are the logistical hurdles of sending out a traveling exhibit? Why are condition reports filled out? What approach to display has the Guggenheim museum pioneered?

Case study: Treasures to Go

What is the primary role of curatorship? What is the curator's role in putting an exhibit together? What are steps between bringing an object out of storage and putting it on exhibit?

What is the difference between preventive and restorative conservation? In which instances is a condition report filled out?

How is an exhibition brief/plan structured? What is a resource plan?

What are the four properties of exhibition text?  What are the four levels of text? At what educational level should text be written?

Week 4 

Terms: accession, deaccession, storyboard, people-mover

What are the functions of a registrar’s department? What is the significance of registration to collections management. What are the characteristics of an accessioning system? To what extent should artifacts be described? When is it necessary to fill out a condition report? Should paper records be abandoned in favor of computer databases?

Terms: pliniths, pedestals, vitrines

What are the advantages/disadvantages of acrylic vs. glass? What kinds of cases are there? What is the modern standard for lighting systems? What is desirable in a lighting system? Is there a conflict between the optimum mode of lighting objects and conservation requirements?

Which types of light sources allow for the best discrimination of color? What are the advantages of fiber optics?

What is multimedia? How is it effectively utilized? What do the Lords consider to be the key to multimedia use? What is a multimedia script treatment? What is a storyboard?

What does the users of advanced media aim to achieve? What forms does advanced media take? What are the limitations of using advanced media?

What is interpretative planning? Be familiar with its four stages.

Case Study: making the earth move for you.

What is meant by the phrase Content is the key! What is advanced media?

Case studies: 71. Multimedia Investment Strategies and 7.2 The Feast of a Thousand Years.

Week 5  

Are exhibits content-driven or design-driven? How do exhibits differ from other form of entertainment? The ultimate goal of an exhibit is to create_____________. What are the qualities of a good interface? What is the WOW effect? Be familiar with conceptual designs and detailed designs.

What does the mantra "speed, quality, price: choose any two" mean?

Is the goal of an exhibit design to present as much content as possible?

Case Study: A walk past time.

Week 6  

Term: storyline

What is the curator’s role with respect to the development of the exhibit brief/plan. How is an exhibit plan structured? What is the difference between restoration and conservation? Be aware of the differing types of thematic structures. What are the optimal qualities of a museum label? What are the stages of label development?

Designing your Section


     Creating an effective exhibit means being able to visualize and commit to paper your ideas prior to their execution (installation). You will not be able to proceed to the installation of your exhibit until I see a final plan. This plan will be a scale rendering of your section that depicts the objects, graphics, associated props, furniture, and labels. It will be in three dimensions in that it will also incorporate side views. It will also include a floor plan indicating where your exhibits are located. The process of creating this is as follows.

  1. If your exhibit involves borrowed objects, list the objects to be displayed in your section. Each student will submit an individual object list, which will state which objects are to go into which case or display. 

  1. It is assumed that each student will have completed condition reports on artifacts that have been borrowed before they are installed. After the opening I will survey the records to see if this has been done. If a photo has not been made of object, then the condition report is incomplete. Crude drawings are not acceptable substitutes for photos.
  1. Research and write draft label copy. You cannot know what you are going to do with your objects unless you appreciate their significance. The draft label copy must include section labels, subsection labels, and labels introducing a topic or explaining object’s significance. You don’t have to submit individual object labels at this point.
Draft label copy due: Friday October 24th 

A design forces you to translate vague ideas into concrete plans. You consequently become aware of your specific material requirements. I will ignore all requests for materials that are not backed up by a design no matter how close we are to the opening date. If a plan is not forthcoming by mid-November I will assign myself or someone else to completing your section – with severe consequences for your grade. 

  1. Create and submit a draft design. This can be in pencil. It should show the cases, objects, furniture, props, graphics, and labels roughly to scale.

Draft design due date: Friday October 31st

  1. Create and submit a final design. This must be in ink and neatly done, e.g. all straight lines with a straight edge, and to exact scale. One of your plans will be a Vectorworks plan.
Final design due date:  November 9th  How to Make a Drawing to Scale Obviously, it is impractical to create a drawing the same size as the display itself. It is, however, important to make a fairly precise drawing to scale in order to minimize mistakes in object placement and space allocation. Therefore, scale drawings are a necessity.       In order to make a scale drawing it is necessary to employ either 1) a scale ruler, 2) a calculator and a regular ruler (centimeters or inches), or 3) gridded drawing paper. A computer CAD program is fine, as you can preset or even change the scale while creating the drawing.   Assuming that #2 has been chosen. 1) Choose a piece of paper of a size to comfortably show the detail of a design. 2) Choose a scale that will work with the size paper. To do this, measure the dimensions of the space that is to be depicted, and determine the decimal or fraction that will convert those dimensions so that they will work on your paper. E.g. if the space is 1.5 x 1 m (150 x 100 cm) and the paper size is 50 x 35 cm, multiplying the dimensions by .3 (30%) will fit a scaled-down version of these dimensions onto the paper with a 5 cm margin (= 45 cm x 30 cm). You would then proceed to multiply all real dimensions by .3 to convert them to your paper size.       One can use inches as well, but must keep in mind that feet must be converted to inches, or inches to be rendered as a fraction of feet (e.g. 1' 6" changed to 1.5 ft.) in order to make calculations.   With choice #3, one has to choose what each square represents in terms of scale. Assuming centimeter squares, one might decide on a scale of 1 square = 6 in, or in other words, 2 squares = 1 foot. Therefore a Chi Wara statue that is 7 ft. tall would be 14 squares on the paper, or 14 cm. One could then take all dimensions in terms of inches, divide by 12, and then multiply by 2 cm.  In any case, mark the scale on the drawing by providing a scale line somewhere on the drawing, e.g.┌───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┐   1                                                                                                      10 ft.     

Your drawing should also include notes as to color choices and any other ideas you have concerning the exhibit. Inset drawings at a larger scale should also accompany the plans, showing details of mounts.

Installing your Exhibit


Once you have completed a final design, you can begin to install your exhibit. This stage of the operations also follows an orderly course. Step one is to

  1. Supply a list of needed materials. All purchases will be made by myself unless there are compelling extenuating circumstances, and explicit permission has been received. In that case the student can only spend the amount agreed upon. Save and turn in all receipts!

List of needed materials due: November 9th (the earlier the better)

1. Prepare final label copy. Labels that have been installed without being proofread by myself have in the past lead to unhappiness on the part of lenders and embarrassment for our institution. I will severely  mark down labels that have been installed without being proofread. I will evaluate your label copy after the exhibit opens for grading purposes, looking at how complete and informed it is.

  1. Install your exhibit. Installation must be completed by the opening reception to receive full credit. I will shut all cases and go ahead with the reception no matter where you are at with your exhibit.

Installation Guidelines


I will not lend out my keys beyond momentary necessity.

No working on an exhibit without my physical presence on campus.

No working on an exhibit after 11PM.

No untrained friends or entourages may be involved in the installation.

Artifacts may not be physically present when paint is wet, or any activity is underway that generates fumes, dust, sawdust, etc.

Spray adhesives cannot be used in the gallery or workroom.

No use of museum wax, stay away from it!

Where a mounting medium comes into contact with an artifact (wire, hooks, etc.) they must be cushioned with cloth or plastic.

All pedestals must be attached to the bottom of the case or shelf.

      Absolutely no purchases may be made by students!!!!!

How I'm going to grade your installation 

The grade includes 40 pts for final label copy, which includes titles (5 pts.), introductory label(s) (15 pts.), and object labels (20 pts.). Points will be subtracted for inaccurate information, grammatical and spelling errors, and garbled names of lenders (a major deduction), and labels that are poorly cut, sized, and positioned). Dangerous labels, those that are in danger of falling on objects, also receive a serious deduction.

Grading the installation: 40 pts. - Includes installation completed in time – everything in place by the day before the opening reception 20 pts., meaning a 20 point deduction if the installation is not done on time. 10 points are given back if exhibit is completed/corrections made by the end of the school day on Friday.  Measures taken to prevent potential artifact damage (10 pts.), and 10 pts. for fidelity to design and exhibit themes.

     An exhibit that has to be deconstructed due to the danger it poses to objects, gross departures from the exhibit's themes or the accepted facts of cultural history, or due to contravention of agreements between the lender and the museum is not a completed exhibit. An exhibit that has been completed only with the help of an entourage is not one that has been completed on time.   

Important Museum Dates:

Friday October 17th, 1 PM  trip to the Fowler Museum, UCLA for a behind the scenes tour

Week of October 20th-24th Installation of Dia de los Muertos exhibit

October 27th & 29th Dr. Gibson is out of town – no class meetings.

Dia de los Muertos Openings October 29th – 30th  exhibit stays up until Nov. 9th

Sunday November 7th, 1 PM trip to Jim Pieper’s house.

Wednesday, December 3rd Opening Reception for the exhibit

Anthropology 20A Final Study Guide Chapters from Lord and Lord: 8.4; 15; 18 Chpt. 8.4  The role of an education department. Terms: docent, human-facilitated experience, museum fatigue, school liaison committee, discovery room, virtual exhibitions What does an education department do for a museum? During which phase does an education department get involved with the development of an exhibit? Why? What are the forms of public programming? What kinds of education staff are there?  What should be a part of docent training? What are the qualities of a bad docent or guide? What does a good docent try to do?  If school tours are an important dimension of a museum, what must an education department do in terms of research and preparation? How does one effectively connect with children? What is the justification and function of a virtual exhibition?  What are the advantages and drawbacks of audio tours? Who would be the primary consumer of a lecture or film program? What is the intention of developing outreach programs? Which trend is behind the development of discovery rooms and study areas? Chapter 15  Lighting What comes into the purview of a lighting designer? When does a lighting designer get involved with an exhibit? What must a lighting designer take into account when crafting a lighting design? Be familiar with the Scottish museum example in the book. Chapter 18  New trends Be familiar with all of the case studies discussed in this chapter. Specifically be knowledgeable about the novel approach that was used in each case, and the pitfalls and successes that resulted.  Otherwise You will be asked both multiple choice and essay questions about museum organization, including the roles of various museum professionals. You will be asked specific questions about condition reports, and photography, and aspects of installation including labels, mounts, designs, color, materials such wood, acrylic, textiles, gatorboard, foamboard, matboard, etc., and some of the equipment that we have been using (vinyl cutter, photoprinter, matboard cutter, etc). Finally you will be asked an essay question concerning your exhibit to ascertain how deeply you researched it. Don’t forget: portfolio including vectorworks plan, timesheets, due on Friday next week.     Textbook: The Manual for Museum Exhibitions, Lord and Lord

Reserve Readings: see accompanying handout  

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Online Resources: (list related websites as links)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Getty Center

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

USC Loan

Skirball Loan

Facilities Report     


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 Last Published 7/14/16