The King’s College Announces New Museum Studies Minor and Concentration

Students will learn museum management and museology, as well as how museums communicate historical narratives outside of a traditional academic setting.

Student at Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Continuing the mission to prepare students to influence strategic institutions in New York City and beyond, The King’s College is excited to offer a new Museum Studies minor beginning in Fall 2019. Additionally, students majoring in Media, Culture, and the Arts will be able to select Museum Studies as their concentration. Students will learn museum management and museology, as well as how museums communicate historical narratives outside of a traditional academic setting. This minor will prepare students to work in nonprofit arts management, educational programming, archival library work, or any number of related fields.

It’s no secret that New York City is home to some of the greatest museums and art galleries in the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. The King’s College strives to make the most of these resources, and King’s professors are known to incorporate museum visits into the curriculum. For instance, Dr. Robert Carle, professor of religious and theological studies, regularly takes students on a tour of the Met during the study of the Islamic world in his Historical Theology class. The new minor formalizes these existing efforts, with a further emphasis on practical archival skills and museology.

The Museum Studies coursework consists of some business courses such as Principles of Management and Organization and a two-semester series, Museum Studies I and II, covering the history, theory, and practice of museum work. History and Theory of Curatorial Practices is a new course in which students will learn about curatorial practices in the art museum. Another course, Public History, will appeal to those wanting to work more with the public side of history rather than that of art. Both courses will focus on how curators and historians craft narratives of history and culture for the public. The goal is to translate an exhibition—be it a museum, an art gallery, or even a historical battlefield—into a learning experience for the viewer.

Mixing practical skills with cultural critique, a Museum Studies program is a rare offering at the undergraduate level. Dr. Henry Bleattler, Chair of the program in Media, Culture, and the Arts, developed the minor and concentration after his own past museum work experience, the many world-class museums in New York, and the increasing number of controversies and ideological battles regularly taking place in the museum world. “Museum work today is not the work of quiet, meditative musings on the aesthetics of beauty and the nuances of historical meaning; it’s an industry fraught with conflicts regarding who gets to tell the stories of the past and what art is and how it should be displayed. There couldn’t be a more exciting time to enter this industry and make a difference.” Bleattler believes that a biblical approach to the creation of culture is essential to the College’s mission, making this new academic offering timely. History and culture do not limit themselves to the classroom, and neither should students of King’s.

Additional information about the Museum Studies minor and MCA concentration will be available in the 2019-20 College Catalog.

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