Past Program

Mexico: The Ethnographic Museum


Wintersession Travel Course
  • Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
Winter 2010

Course Dates: Jan 4, 2010 — Jan 27, 2010

Open to RISD students, Brown University students
Academic Credits
  • Architecture
Course Numbers
  • ARTH H655

Full Course Description

This course was object-centered and explored the theories and methodologies that have been adopted for the display of ethnographic materials in museums over time. Students had the opportunity to visit a number of local and regional museums, exhibitions and private collections. Students spoke to collectors and to curators, and engaged in exercises that focussed on the display of objects for general audiences. This gave students a general background on such questions as: how can 3D objects best be displayed? What information should objects be displayed with? What are the goals of an ethnographic exhibition? How are exhibitions organized? Is modern technology making museums obsolete? What are the repatriation regulations, and how have they impacted collectors and museums? The course required a number of weekend visits to collections, as well as a final project that was object-centered.

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