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

FILM - Out of State Saturday, December 09 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
In 2007, the state of Hawaii outsourced the care of roughly 2,000 male prisoners to a private, for-profit prison in Arizona. Exiled thousands of miles from their island home, a group of indigenous Hawaiian inmates have discovered their calling on the inside: teaching each other their native language and dances. As several of the men complete their sentences, the film follows them as they reintegrate in Hawaii. Out of State explores questions of cultural and religious identity; the overabundance of native Hawaiians and minorities in the prison system; the cycle of criminal behavior and its impact on the family; and prisoner entitlement. Join us for a moderated discussion led by Native-Hawaiian filmmaker and Out of State’s director, Ciara Lacy, and member of the Osage Nation, Jimmy Lee Beason II, M.S.W.

Meet the Experts: Christmas Crèches​
Sunday, December 10 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On December 10, enjoy special displays of Christmas crèches from the Bud and Jan Koupal Collection. Hear a talk about the history and tradition of holiday crèches, and stay afterward for cider and cookies. The program includes a lecture and museum visit. Included with museum admission.

TALK - Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU
Thursday, December 14 | 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317 Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St.
A hundred years ago, Kansas City philanthropist Sallie Casey Thayer donated her extensive collection to the KU, forming the basis for what is today the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection. Celka Straughn, Director of Academic Programs, discusses this eclectic collection, from Japanese prints and American paintings to sumptuous textiles, ancient artifacts, and even valentines. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

TALK - Slow Art Sunday: Presepio 
Sunday, December 17 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317 Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St.
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In December, get to know our 18th-century Italian Presepio.

TALK - Home for the Holidays 
Sunday, December 24 | 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
Every year, Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy spends an afternoon in the galleries welcoming visitors and leading informal tours to celebrate the holiday season. This year's tour centers on the origins of the Museum and collecting and sharing art as a form of civic engagement. Tours begin at 12pm and 1pm. Join us and make this Spencer Museum tradition your own. These tours are presented in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Museum’s collection.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times