Students have opportunities to craft their study in art history to serve particular interests in museum and gallery work. Course opportunities include Art Museum Theory and Practice, topical seminars utilizing or designing exhibitions in the Museum of Art, and independent study and senior thesis projects involving objects in the college collections.
In 2013, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture initiated within the major a Museum Studies track. Students in the Museum Studies track combine a strong foundation in art history with courses that explore issues and practices related to museums. A lively lecture series of visiting museum experts and hands-on opportunities in the Middlebury College Museum of Art and local arts institutions provide students windows into the professional art world. Students have opportunities to craft their study in art history to serve particular interests in museum and gallery work.
As is expected of Art History track students, all Museum Studies track students must complete Monuments and Ideas in Western Art (HARC 0100), Monuments and Ideas in Asian Art (HARC 0102), and the methodology seminar, Ways of Seeing (HARC 301). In addition, Museum Studies track students they must complete the museum studies foundational course, Gold, Sex, and Death at the Museum (HARC 0248). Majors and joint-majors must also take the Senior Research Seminar (HARC 0710) and write a Senior Thesis pertaining to the Middlebury College Museum of Art or in museum studies broadly defined (HARC 761). Majors must take four additional electives, and joint majors and minors must take two additional electives.
The final requirement of the Museum Studies track is a practical component that may take one of three forms. The first option is participation in two semesters of MAP (Museum Assistants Program, described above) followed by Independent Museum Studies (HARC 0540), which culminates with a public presentation on a museum-related topic evaluated by a faculty member of the Department of History of Art & Architecture. The second option is participation in a credit-bearing internship carried out during study abroad or during J-term. The third option is participation in an unpaid approved internship during the spring or fall semester, undertaken concurrently with Advanced Studies (HARC 0510), independent work in museums studies that is supervised by a faculty member of the Department of History of Art & Architecture.
This program prepares students for meaningful work in the museum world after graduation and is buttressed by a strong alumni network and job placement opportunities identified by the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI). Students may also at any time engage in non-credit paid internships or other positions at the Middlebury College Museum of Art.