By the conclusion of the Spring 2016 semester, half of the Museum of Anthropology’s main exhibits will feature work completed by Wake Forest students in undergraduate classes. Opening three student-curated exhibits this academic year reinforces the important connection between the MOA and Wake Forest students. There is no doubt that the exhibits will also attract interest from members of the community at large drawn to the diverse topics and exceptional artifacts on display.
In the fall, the MOA opened a new long-term exhibit entitled Childhood: Exploring Youth Culture Around the World, which you can read about in detail here.
Another student-curated exhibit, Musical Narratives of the Southwest Pacific Rim, will be on display from March 15 to August 26. This exhibition is the result of three semesters of work by World Music students taught by Wake Forest ethnomusicologist Dr. Elizabeth Clendinning. Highlighting the MOA’s collections of musical instruments, masks, shadow puppets, and dance costumes from Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea, the exhibit will take the visitor on a tour of the performing arts of these regions. The exhibit will examine how music, dance, and theater intersect with storytelling, religious practice, gender roles, and modernization. Visitors will be invited to interact with the exhibit through hands-on music-making with select objects on display.
Finally, MOA Academic Director Dr. Andrew Gurstelle is currently teaching a First Year Seminar on museum studies, which will produce an exhibit exploring the “object biographies” of intriguing specimens in the MOA’s collections. Incredible Journeys: The Life Histories of Museum Objects will be on exhibit from April 19, 2016 to March 25, 2017. The exhibition will trace objects from their original use through the missionaries, traders, soldiers, and doctors that acquired them, the connoisseurs that collected them, and finally how anthropologists (and the Museum) might use them. The exhibit will showcase the range of the MOA’s collections and the diverse trajectories that objects can have.
The MOA staff is excited to be able to work with faculty members with such wide-ranging areas of expertise and such intelligent and motivated students. We look forward to developing more exhibits that will draw from the MOA’s collections and inspire Wake Forest faculty and students as well as the greater Piedmont Triad community.