Imagine being turned loose in a museum’s art collection and allowed to select your favorite pieces. That’s what eight students experienced in a course taught last winter by Laurel Bradley, director and curator of Carleton’s Perlman Teaching Museum. The students created short slideshows with voice-over narration to give a personal take on some of the college’s 2,500 prints, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other artifacts, which they organized around themes such as food, healing, and imagining the unknown.
“I wanted to get students working with the collection and to exhibit some of it on our website,” says Bradley. So she offered a three-credit special projects course, in which students collaborated with members of the museum staff and Carleton’s web team to produce online guided tours that were conversational rather than academic in tone. Bradley wants future students to add their own stories to the mix and is thinking through ways to make that happen.
“It’s my favorite content on the Carleton website,” says Doug Bratland, a web content specialist who worked with the students on their scripts for the project. “The idea was inspired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website—and the students just nailed it!”
“We put a lot of ourselves into these stories,” adds Sophie Kissin ’14 (St. Paul). “We kept redoing our recordings because we were so self-conscious about how we sounded. But we all developed more confidence with the way we personally interact with art. Plus, it’s a great way to tell other people about the wonderful artwork we have at Carleton.”
Web Extra: View the collection of stories.