Student/Faculty Exhibitions

Museum of Art Museum of Art

Student/Faculty Exhibitions

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art offers students and faculty the unique opportunity to curate exhibitions in the Becker Gallery for teaching and student engagement. Students and faculty collaborate with curatorial staff to develop a focused show that makes use of the museum collections.

Student/Faculty Exhibitions 2012-Present

Andrea Dezsö: The Visitors
February 20-May 31, 2020
The Visitors features works of art by Andrea Dezsӧ, halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence, and objects from the Museum. This exhibition of the artist’s work was organized in collaboration with Zac Wilson, Bowdoin class of 2020, and Jackie Brown, Marvin H. Green Jr. Assistant Professor of Art.

Pasado y Presente: Twentieth-Century Photographs of a Changing Mexico
January 7-March 15, 2020, Markell Gallery
Pasado y Presente explored the forces of change and tradition that have shaped modern Mexico through the lens of twentieth century photographers. The exhibition was curated by the students in “War of the Latin American Worlds,” a fall 2019 course in Hispanic and Latin American Studies taught by Carolyn Wolfenzon Niego, associate professor of romance languages and literatures.

African/American: Two Centuries of Portraits
November 7, 2019-February 9, 2020
The exhibition featured outstanding portraits of and by leading African American artists from prior to slavery’s abolition in the United States to today. This exhibition was curated by Lauren Dove, class of 2021, curatorial and education assistant, with the assistance of Elizabeth Humphrey ’14, curatorial assistant and manager of student programs. 

Photographic Lives: Robert Freson, Irving Penn, and the Portrait
March 28-June 2, 2019
This exhibition explores two remarkable photographers and their different approaches to portraiture. The exhibition was curated by Ellery Harkness, class of 2021, student curatorial assistant.
Modernism for All: The Bauhaus at 100
March 1–May 12, 2019
By juxtaposing works of art and design by Bauhaus masters and their students this exhibition introduces the famous school as a highly successful learning environment. Curated with assistance from Danny Banks ’19, student curatorial assistant,  Juliette Dankens ’18, and Alexander Dobbin ’18.

Fashioning Modernity: Art and Independence among Yorubas in Nigeria
January 17–March 17, 2019
This exhibition examined innovations in Yoruba arts—at once traditional and modern—during a critical moment in Nigeria’s history, the transition to political independence. Fashioning Modernity was curated by students enrolled in“African Art and Visual Culture” during the 2018 fall term and Allison Martino, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Africana Studies.

Spring of Discontent: The Photography of Michael Ruetz
November 15, 2018-January 6, 2019, Becker Gallery
In a visual diary of iconic photographs, Ruetz captured the events and circumstances of 1968 and the ideas and socio-political changes associated with the ‘68 Movement in Germany and beyond. The installation was curated by students of the fall 2018 course “German Literature and Culture since 1945” and Jens Klenner, assistant professor of German.

Among Women
October 11, 2018-April 7, 2019
This exhibition explores the artistic portrayal of women in the United States over the last three centuries. Curated by Eleanor Sapat ’20, student curatorial and education assistant.

A Handheld History: Five Centuries of Medals from the Molinari Collection at Bowdoin College
July 26, 2018–January 20, 2019, Markell Gallery
This installation allowed viewers to experience the intimacy and poignancy of portrait medals spanning nearly five centuries and to consider the lessons they have to impart to contemporary audiences. Organized by Bowdoin students Amber Orosco ’19, Stephen Pastoriza ’19, and Benjamin Wu ’18.
Reading Room: Experiments in Collaborative Dialogue and Archival Practice in the Arts
March 29-June 3, 2018, Becker Gallery
Reading Room was a material and immaterial archive of texts, books, and writings in response to the question: “How can art act as a mechanism for social action?” The exhibition was organized by Bowdoin students Hailey Beaman ’18 and June Lei ’18.
Where the Artist's Hand Meets the Author's Pen: Drawings from the Artine Artinian Collection
January 19-March 22, 2018, Becker Gallery
Highlights of the gifts from Artine Artinian, Bowdoin Class of 1931, provided an introduction to the visual culture of France during the Belle Époque. This exhibition was curated by Daniel Rechtschaffen, Class of 2018, student curatorial assistant.

Dmitri Baltermants: Documenting and Staging a Soviet Reality
September 23, 2017–January 7, 2018, Becker Gallery
This exhibition included more than thirty of Dmitri Baltermants’s most famous photographs. Curated by Johna Cook ’19, student curatorial assistant.

Urban Impressions: New York City in Prints, 1900–1940
March 30– July 9, 2017
For many American artists, New York City in the early twentieth century epitomized modern life. Through a variety of media, they captured an increasingly diverse populace, expanding skyline, and changed public mores. The group of print artists featured in this exhibition resisted the trend towards abstraction, choosing instead to represent the human figure in the urban environment. Curated by Sarah Freshnock ’17 in collaboration with Dana Byrd, assistant professor of art history, Bowdoin College.

Sosaku-hanga: Twentieth-Century Japanese Creative Prints
January 10-April 16, 2017
Sosaku-hanga—creative prints (創作版画)—emerged as an artistic form of expression in twentieth-century Japan.  Artists of the creative print movement took charge of all phases of the production, mining printmaking’s opportunities for experimentation as they cut, inked, and printed the matrix. Generally characterized by a blocky style and large areas of flat color that approached abstraction, sosaku-hanga frequently featured a rough carving technique to celebrate the nature and materiality of the woodblock.This installation was co-curated by Alison Miller and by students from Art History 3180: "Japanese Print Culture," Fall 2016.

Robert Frank: Sideways
September 15, 2016 - January 29, 2017
Robert Frank played a leading role in re-writing contemporary standards for photography. This exhibition brings together a selection of rarely seen photographs from 1947, the year the artist first moved to the United States, to 1961, when he presented his first major museum exhibition.This exhibition was organized with Bowdoin faculty members Michael Kolster, Russ Rymer, and students in the spring 2016 seminars, “Writing Creative Nonfiction Through Photography” and “Documentary Photography.”

Beautiful Monstrosities, Elegant Distortions: The Artifice of Sixteenth-Century Mannerism
April 12-June 5, 2016
This exhibition examines the works of artists employed by European courts in the 16th century, such as the Medici in Florence, French royalty at Fontainebleau, and the Holy Roman Imperial courts in Vienna and Prague. Artists catered to the refined tastes of the European nobility by inventing sublime distortions of the human body, allegorical monsters, and ornamental grotesques. This exhibition is curated by Susan Wegner, associate professor of art history at Bowdoin College, and students from Art History 2240: “Mannerism.”

"Empire Follows Art”: Culture and Identity in the Atlantic World
May 10 - August 30, 2015
This exhibition illuminates the experience of the Atlantic world in the eighteenth century. Art and artifacts drawn from the Museum’s collections shed light on the development of an extensive network among Europe, Africa, and the Americas that influenced identity and culture in the period. Curated by students in “Sugar, Tobacco, Rice and Rum: Art and Identity in the Atlantic World,” taught by Dana E. Byrd, assistant professor of art history, Bowdoin College.

Letters and Shadows: African American Art and Literature Since the Harlem Renaissance
January 22-March 15, 2015
The parallel and intersecting cultural enterprises of art and literature since the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s are valuable sources for the study of race relations in America. The artists and writers represented in this exhibition reimagined this typically hierarchical relationship and conspired to create new socio-political allegories and meanings. Organized with Elizabeth Muther, Associate Professor of English, Bowdoin College, in conjunction with her course English 2604: "African American Literature and Visual Culture."

Frontier Visions: The American West in Image and Myth
May 8-June 8, 2014
This exhibition explored representations of the frontier in American culture from the nineteenth century to the present day, featuring works on paper by Carleton Warkins, Edward Curtis, Karl Bodmer, Dorothea Lange, and others that shed light on why the West of imagination and history endures in paradoxical and unexpected ways. Curated by students in History 1020: "Frontier Crossings: The Western Experience in American History" taught by Matt Klingle, Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College.

Fantastic Stories: The Supernatural in Nineteenth-Century Japanese Prints
November 9-March 3, 2013
This exhibition featured Japanese woodblock prints that depict supernatural themes, including ghosts and demons. Students from Professor Vyjayanthi Selinger's course Asian Studies 246: "The Fantastic and Demonic in Japanese Literature" wrote texts on selected works that were developed into a gallery brochure.

"We Never See Anything Clearly" John Ruskin and Landscape Painting, 1840s-1870s
October 30-December 23, 2012
Bowdoin students Ben Livingston, class of 2013, and Ursula Moreno-VanderLaan, class of 2013, worked with Pamela Fletcher, associate professor of art history, to research and organize the exhibition in connection with Art History 352: "The Pre-Raphaelites."

Michelangelo: Art and Afterlife
December 6-20, 2012
This exhibition highlighted the influence of Michelangelo's art and the legend of his character in the years after his death. Over the course of the semester, students from Associate Professor of Art History Susan Wegner's seminar, AH 324: "Art and Life of Michelangelo" researched prints by Renaissance artists, images of Michelangelo, and drawings that emulate his style.