Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Ian Starnes ’11 - This week I met with several important people at the IMA regardingthe star studio project. We discussed the layout of the exhibit as well as thingsand ideas to improve on. I never realized how much time and thought goes intomuseums and the spaces the designate. Everything must be socially and politicallystable, aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and it must function. There are people responsible for even the most miniscule details, like creating labels for pieces of art.
My meetings have allowed me to see museums through thought provoking and innovative ways.I have also been researching different subject matter for the ipod tapp tour. My section involves cultures and ideas associated with Ife, but not found in thedirect vicinity of the ancient city. My research has been extremely difficult and Ihave struggled to find information that is both reliable and compelling. I cant wait tosee the final product we come up with. This opportunity given to me by Wabash has been so beneficial in my understanding of what it takes to work in the fine arts. It takes patience, hard work, and cooperation.In the upcoming weeks I will be continuing my mediations between museum department while working on the star gallery and the tapp tour.
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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Eric Vaughn ’11

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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Drew Palmer ’11

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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Michael Brown ’13

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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Ian Starnes’11

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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Drew Palmer’11 - Hello, I’m usually the guy behind the camera so this was a little awkward (and a little out of focus…) as I’m sure you can see.

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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Michael Brown ’13 - My name is Michael Brown, and I am from Crawfordsville, IN. I am a sophomore Music/Art Major at Wabash College and hoping to go to IU for Graduate School. I decided to partake in this class because I wanted an opportunity to learn more about ancient African culture through art, and what better civilization that the Yoruba of Ife. I also wanted to gain valuable knowledge on museum studies and how much effort and work it takes to put on an exhibit.

Our job for ART 210 with Professor Morton is to research and develop scripts for the upcoming TAPP Tour the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which will open the exhibit in July. We also plan to take a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to interview to author of our class book/catalog Henry Drewal, so I look forward to that.  I also forward with working with my three senior classmates who all have different backgrounds and skills to help finish this project by the end of the semester.

So I look forward to writing more blogs about my time and experience at the IMA and hope that this TAPP Tour is the best that it can be.

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Digitizing Dynasty & Divinity

Eric Vaughn ’11- Hello all, my name is Eric Vaughn and I am a senior at Wabash College. Who would have thought that by my senior year at Wabash College I would be a valuable asset on a student run team to develop the necessary foundations for a museum project that is done in only one place in the United States? I mean, I started out as the stereotypical biology (this is too hard) major who switched to an English (that’s much better) major by my sophomore year. Wabash has certainly challenged me in many ways I had never imagined over the years. I have grown more in four years than a Giant Sequoia could in 2,000. Keep in mind that the comparison is relative.

As a break from the intensive rigors of science, I took some art classes during my freshman and sophomore year so that I could freely express with my brain for once instead of repressing and recording. I learned that art’s expression can provide great insight into an individual’s unique perspective. For example, a chair was placed in the center of the room. We all had the same type of paper and pencil to draw with. So the pictures really couldn’t be that different. However, everyone saw the chair from a different angle. The lighting was different depending on the viewer’s orientation as well so the shadows fell a different way on each depiction. One must also consider the artist’s ability to capture an image and translate it into a work of art.

There is so much that goes into developing a piece that it is amazing we can ever find time to focus on our own interpretation of someone else’s work. With such insight I became fascinated by art history. I even thought of minoring in the subject. I was struck by the difficulty and value of learning about a culture through its art. In many ways, art says just as much as literature, it’s just a different medium. I took an African Art History class with Dr. Morton at the end of my sophomore year. We researched various artworks, wrote short descriptions of them, arranged them on a display case and presented them to the college as though we had our own museum. I had so much fun in that class. I saw this class being offered this semester during my senior year and couldn’t wait to do it again.

However, instead of setting up the displays, we are in charge of developing the TAPP Tour program which features an iTouch that the museum will loan out to people attending the event. Each iTouch features either video or audio tracks that will tell about individual or groups of art works to gain a more personalized insight than what one may get by merely looking at the cards outside the display cases. The most exciting part is that I know there is additional information included in the TAPP Tour than is on the display because I’m one of the people doing the research! I have been told that the IMA is one of the only museums to feature the TAPP Tour and I am forever grateful to be a part of such a unique program as merely a senior in college. On top of that, the event we are presenting for is regarded as one of the most exciting to hit the U.S. in years — Dynasy and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria. This exhibit is astounding because the people of Yoruba are the only group in the world to claim that the birthplace of the world started in one of their own cities — Ife. This is truly and exciting project to be a part of and I can’t wait to get further absorbed in the pure “awesomeness” of this project!

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