Object Lab is a hybrid gallery-classroom that visualizes the Williams liberal arts curriculum through the museum collection. Faculty work with WCMA staff to select art that connects with course concepts. These works of art are then installed in the gallery, grouped by course. Through museum visits combined with close-looking assignments, students engage deeply with the objects throughout the semester.
In spring 2021, students are researching connections with Maya culture, analyzing relationships between monuments and collective memory, and assessing how different pigments react to mixing or fading. Themes across the courses include monumentality, reproducibility, materiality, and the power of an icon. All three of the participating courses are incorporating in-person visits to Object Lab. We make high resolution photographs and installation photography available for learning in remote formats.
Although the museum is open only to Williams faculty, staff, and students for class use this spring, we welcome all museum visitors to virtually experience the diverse array of objects and to engage with the interdisciplinary ideas brought forth in this active, experimental space.