Welcome

Over the past year, we have been reviewing and revising of our Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Goals and Objectives. We engaged faculty, students, and stakeholders in this important process. I would like to share some highlights of the process.

The new Mission establishes our three primary purposes: (1) to engage in critical examination of museum theory and practice, (2) to foster innovative approaches that extend the potential of museums to serve society; and (3) to prepare students for leadership in the diverse, multidisciplinary museum field.

This mission is informed by the program’s basic values. These values emphasize how our program is related to the museum profession as a whole. Our Values Statement asserts that museums serve society best when they create dynamic settings where:

  • material evidence opens new pathways for understanding the past, the present, and the future;
  • knowledge and understanding becomes accessible and inspiring for diverse audiences;
  • important topics facing society are openly presented, discussed, and challenged; and
  • reflection on fundamental topics such as representation, equity, and access is ongoing.

With museums’ potential as our inspiration, we affirm our intention to:

  • produce graduates who have gained scholarly expertise as well as practical knowledge, skills, and confidence;
  • emphasize the fundamentally multidisciplinary nature of museum studies;
  • advance professional best practices in all facets of museum work;
  • advocate responsible stewardship of natural, artistic, historic, and cultural resources;
  • challenge expectations about the role of museums in society;
  • embrace engagement and inclusivity with all people and communities;
  • encourage collaboration among colleagues and stakeholders; and
  • support research that strengthens theory and practice in museum studies.

These are exciting times to be providing the next generation with the tools to make a difference in museums. Our field is actively reexamining fundamental tenets in everything from collecting to communicating. We are reconsidering museums' relationships and responsibilities with regard to social, cultural, and natural dynamics. There is an openness to innovation and creativity that feels new and promising. We look forward to implementing this mission in the years ahead.

Peter H. Welsh
Director, Museum Studies
phwelsh@ku.edu


Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter
 

 

Museum Events

German-American History Talk and Gallery Tour
Saturday, October 21 | 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
Prof. William Keel of KU speaks on local German-American history, then we move to the third floor for a special tour of our new exhibit Community and Culture: The Lawrence Turnverein, with Watkins curator Brittany Keegan and Dr. Lorie Vanchena of KU.

My Name is Sallie Performance
October 25-26 | 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam & Connie Perkins Central Court
This experimental, immersive musical theater experience tells the story of the founding gift of art to the University of Kansas that became the Spencer Museum of Art. Created by Spencer Archivist Robert Hickerson and featuring the talents of artists and students from across the community. The performance is a free special preview event and part of the centennial celebration of our collection. Tickets are available through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/my-name-is-sallie-tickets-37725266287.

Science of the Macabre
Thursday, October 26 | 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd. 
Join us for a spooky night in the KU Natural History Museum as we celebrate Halloween. From spiders and snakes to parasites, we will explore the science of the creepy things that go bump in the night. See museum specimens, explore blood under black light, and enjoy free refreshments and win prizes.

Stories from the Museum Archives: Sallie Casey Thayer Collects
Sunday, November 5 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm 305, Stephen H. Goddard Study Center 
Spencer Museum archivist Robert Hickerson and student assistant Rose Wolf open up the archives for an exploration of primary resources that document the collection that initiated an art museum at KU. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU and the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

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