Field Notes
light reflecting off the exterior panels of Weisman

WAM Field Notes are professional-oriented articles and featured essays surrounding current values and practices in the museum field.

A Dozen Curatorial Careers Launched at the Weisman

In 2009, Weisman Art Museum (WAM) established the E. Gerald and Lisa O’Brien Curatorial Fellowship. For over twelve years, the O'Brien Fellowship has been launching curatorial careers by enabling recent graduates to achieve their first paid curatorial museum staff position, as they consider continuing toward an advanced degree. Art history majors from across the country are encouraged to apply, especially those who studied at University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, Rice University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Maryland.

Behind the Scenes at WAM: Talking Exhibition Design with Reggie Spanier

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be able to touch the art at a museum? Conservators and preparators get to do just this as they delicately move, care for, and arrange the pieces in the museum’s collection. The WAM Collective spoke to Reggie Spanier, Preparator at WAM, about what it’s like to work with curators to design and build exhibitions. Designing an exhibition involves a lot of voices and hands coming together to make tough choices about where and how things should be displayed.

Arts Access: Beyond the Senses

Every experience is a multi-sensory experience, whether we actively perceive it as such or not. Changes in sensory input, likewise, change our composite experience of the world. Even so, people with sensory loss are rarely consulted during the planning process of collective experience-creation; not included in the development of those experiences, people with sensory loss feel left out of them altogether. As the Weisman’s Director of Education, I am part of a collaborative team working to reimagine the way the museum engages with people who have sensory loss.

Gen Z Envisions the Future of Museums

For their final program of the semester, the Weisman Art Museum’s student group, WAM Collective, convened a virtual roundtable with peer student advisory groups, the Student Advisory Council at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, and the

On Collaboration – an essay

Collaboration Is a Labor of Creating Shared Meaning

I have an unusual job title: Curator for Creative Collaboration. This is not a position found in most art museums, and you might wonder why our museum has such a role.

Reflections on Sensory Loss Symposium

The Sensory Loss and Art Symposium at the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) was the end result of my summer-long residency with the Center for Applied Translational Sensory Science (CATSS) at the University of Minnesota. All summer I met with scientists studying all facets of vision and hearing loss, and learned about their individual research interests. It became clear very early on in this process that only three of them (which, in a typical demographic of scientists, is actually quite a high number) have sensory loss themselves.