Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Collection-Sharing Across the Curriculum
As part of the Yale University Art Gallery's Collection-Sharing Initiative, Learning to Paint and Methods for Modernism were designed to inspire creative curricular connections among academic departments here at Bowdoin.

Although a number of departments including history, German, and education, took advantage of this opportunity to organize class sessions in the museum, two particular courses effectively merged ranks in order to teach one another.

Associate Professor of art history Pamela Fletcher and Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum worked diligently to promote a dialogue between the students in their modern art and poetry courses. As Professor Reizbaum expressed it, "This occasion only strengthens an impulse that I regularly try to build into the study of the literary in the modern period." This curricular overhaul went deep; each faculty member not only delivered guest lectures in the other's course, but also sat in on the class for the duration of the semester. Students in the two classes were asked to work with both visual and textual material, identifying the shared themes that coursed through artistic and literary modernism, and they certainly rose to the occasion.

For their culminating course assignment, students from the two classes were combined into mixed groups and asked to design a creative thematic tour of the Methods for Modernism exhibition that could take any physical or technological format. The results were wildly creative, taking two and three dimension and virtual formats, and demonstrating the fluency that students had achieved in both subjects. As one student said, "The project in and of itself was an enjoyable experience and idea. I enjoyed meeting other people from the poetry class and getting to know classmates in more familiar settings. The fact that this project allowed us the freedom to creatively make our own way of displaying the museum for the community... was awesome."

A ceramic pyramid emphasizing the tactile properties of select works in the exhibition, this project, entitled "The Rhythm of Line," was created by Bowdoin students Casey Blossom '13, Ryan Erskine '12, Emma James '13, Julia MacDonald '13) and Aaron Wolf '12.