Museum Fellows Program
The Art History Concentration, with Mary Bergstein serving as Concentration Coordinator, is a popular complement to studio majors for RISD students. By adding additional courses in art history, theory, criticism and museum studies, students gain a broader and deeper perspective on global cultural developments, genres and eras throughout history. For many undergraduates, these studies serve as a springboard to further graduate study.
In conjunction with the RISD Museum of Art, HAVC offers select Art History concentrators a first-hand look at one art-historical profession — museum curatorship — as well as a rare level of access to museum collections.
Introduced in fall 2007, the Museum Fellows program places students in semester-long apprenticeships with curatorial departments at the museum. The positions carry course credit, require significant time commitments and involve “real work,” explains Susan Ward, professor and head of HAVC. “From the beginning, the program has been structured so that Fellows are engaged in substantive tasks—the real work of curators and conservators—rather than in mere administrative support.” As a result, the Museum Fellows program enables students to experience the behind-the-scenes workings of the museum while also learning the finer points of handling sensitive art objects.