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IU Art Museum receives grant to fund art courses, academic position


By Sarah Boyum




The IU Art Museum will receive a $500,000 endowment grant through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This grant will help fully fund the senior academic officer position and allow the Art Museum to provide students with more courses and programs.

The Mellon Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, makes grants in six program areas: higher education and scholarship, art history, conservation and museums, performing arts, conservation and the environment, and communication and information technology.

Recipients of the grant are often “leaders in fields of Foundation activity” or newcomers with potential, according to the Mellon Foundation website.

The philosophy of the Foundation is “to build, strengthen and sustain institutions and their core capacities, rather than be a source for narrowly defined projects.”

The senior academic officer focuses on pairing academic experiences with the museum’s collection of artwork. The officer also works with the entire IU community to integrate the museum’s collections and resources into class curricula.

Jennifer Wagelie is the current senior academic officer and the second person to hold the position.

Wagelie, who has worked with the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, which are both located in Washington D.C., will continue teaching classes and working to engage more of IU’s non-arts students and staff in utilizing the Art Museum as a resource for their research and classes.

“With the addition of a dedicated staff position, we are able to offer new courses that utilize the museum’s collections,” Wagelie said.
   The grant has allowed the IU Art Museum to offer new courses in the fall and spring semesters. The classes used the museum’s collection of art and offered students other opportunities to experience the subject more in depth through utilizing the museum’s resources.
A new class offered next spring, titled “On Exhibit,” will allow students to work on a small exhibition and use a part of the museum’s collections.

In spring 2012 , new programs were also offered in conjunction with special exhibits and installations.

An afternoon workshop focusing on the Perle exhibition titled “What is Ab Ex?” and an in-gallery presentation titled “Kabuki Night in the Galleries” are two examples of new opportunities the museum was able to offer the IU community.

“This is a truly transformative opportunity for the IU Art Museum,” IU Art Museum Director Adelheid “Heidi” M. Galt said in a press release.

"We are very proud that IU has joined other prestigious university art museums ... as a recipient of a Mellon endowment challenge grant.”

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