January 12, 2011

How to use the Henry: Museum to hold faculty reception Jan. 20

News and Information

  • The Henry Art Gallery’s University Faculty Information Reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the gallery’s Reed Collections Study Center.

The Henry Art Gallery is inviting UW faculty to review how the gallerys resources can be used for research and teaching. The University Faculty Information Reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Reed Collections Study Center.

Rachael Faust

Rachael Faust

“Teaching tends to happen through verbally conveying ideas and supplementing these ideas with digitally rendered images,” Faust wrote in an e-mail. “However, the Henry offers faculty and their students a rare opportunity to interact with tangible objects and discover the power and pleasure of learning from original works of art.”

She said faculty can explore the museums collections online and request objects to be pulled for teaching and study purposes. Through the Reed Collection Study Center, she said, “Faculty can request any type of object from the museums diverse collection of over 25,000 objects. Most museums have ‘medium-specific study centers — print study centers or photography study centers. At the Henry, faculty have access to all media: paintings, sculpture, ceramics, costumes and textiles, prints and drawings, and photographs.”

Faculty — and anyone else — also can view about 23,000 of the Henrys works of art up close at the gallerys website.

Faust said the museums recent collecting activities have focused on acquiring works “representing developments in contemporary art, particularly in the areas of photography, new media, and installation art.”

Two Henry collections that have already proved of great interest to UW faculty are:

  • The costume collection, which is often used by School of Drama faculty and students studying costume design and construction.
  • The museums photography collection, which has proved to be an excellent asset to School of Art faculty. This collection spans the history of photography, from some of the first photos created to contemporary processes.

Faust said she also hopes to hear from faculty about how the Henry can build collaborations and provide better access for scholars. “I can image collaborations with faculty in the music, history, anthropology, education, psychology, math, and biology departments,” she said. “Collection objects could be used by math faculty to help students visualize objects in three dimensions, to explore minimal surfaces, topology, and geometry, especially symmetry.

“Objects could be used to explore human perception and the concept of beauty. I also hope to collaborate with writing courses to explore different ideas for text in the museums galleries, including poetry and creative writing.”

The faculty reception will begin with hors doeuvres and wine in the museums cafe, followed by presentations from Henry staff and an open forum discussion in the Reed Collections Study Center. The study center and museum galleries will be open after the event until 9 p.m.