The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center welcomes students back for the semester with new programming and five fall exhibitions.
The exhibitions, which center around themes of U.S. history, science and art, debuted on Aug. 28 and are scheduled to run through Dec. 12.
According to Jack Rasmussen, AU Museum director and curator, the largest exhibit the museum will be hosting this semester is Diane Burko: Seeing Climate Change.
“[It] kicks off with an exhibition and a symposium,” Rasmussen said. “We’re bringing in people, sort of important artists and curators, and then we’re also expanding the symposium to include different departments. Everything from School of Communication to history to science.”
Peri Munter, the museum’s gallery operations and administrative coordinator and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she loved how Diane Burko uses the form of art for social advocacy.
“I think that oftentimes the numbers and statistics around climate change are too staggering to be grasped,” Munter said. “The numbers themselves will not resonate with people, as much as images of the environment and artistically rendered predictions of what our environment will look like in 10 years from now compared to how it looked 50 years ago.”
Additionally, other exhibits include Successions: Traversing US Colonialism, Philip Brookman: In the Light of Memory, 1969-2021, Reveal: The Art of Reimagining Scientific Discovery and Inside Out: Artists in the Studio.
According to Rasmussen, the museum staff experimented with virtual programming, gallery talks and walkthroughs while the museum was closed.
“We were more or less shut down for a year and a half,” Rasmussen said. “We had shows up, but we couldn’t show them to anybody … You can imagine, we had to cancel or postpone 26 shows. So we’re still recovering from that retirement and sort of figuring out how the next two years are going to go trying to accommodate what we already scheduled and what we cannot.”
According to Munter, while operations at the AU Museum have changed due to COVID-19, there are a lot of ways in which things are “comfortingly similar.” The museum’s large, well-ventilated space lends itself well to a changing in-person environment, Munter said.
Katrina Walker, the museum’s marketing assistant and a second-year graduate student in the CAS, said the museum is a great resource for students to engage with.
“My undergraduate institution didn’t have a museum on campus, and it is such a great resource and they really have such an incredible collection,” Walker said. “I’m really excited about this fall, it’s been really easy to talk up.”
The AU Museum is currently open Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. No reservation is required. More information on fall events and programs can be found on the museum’s website.