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Web-cast lecture series to focus on museum studies

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Emerging developments in elite museum studies are now only a click away for the faculty, staff and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The work and world of the museum, as seen through the lens of one expert at a time, is now available to anyone at Illinois, by means of the Smithsonian Institution’s new G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series.

The lecture series and a myriad of other services and benefits are available to the people and programs at the U. of I. because the university is a full-fledged affiliate of the institution in Washington, D.C.

Illinois gained affiliate status last September. It is among a handful of institutions of higher education that have been granted affiliate status; most affiliates are individual museums.

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, in collaboration with the science education department of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, launched the Goode Smithsonian lecture series in early June. All lectures will be broadcast live on the Web. A link at that site also includes lecture schedule updates.

Named after the Smithsonian’s earliest proponent of museums as educational institutions, the series allows S.I. museum staff and S.I. affiliates everywhere the opportunity to keep abreast of emerging developments in education pertaining to many aspects of their work, from exhibit design to outreach in schools.

Kevin Dunbar, Center for Cognitive and Educational Neuroscience at Dartmouth College, delivered the first lecture in the series. His topic was “Designers at the Exhibition: Balancing Aesthetics and Learning at the Museum.”

Three U. of I. units – the Krannert Art Museum, the University Library and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music (SACAM) – got the affiliation process rolling. S.I. affiliate benefits are available to them, as well as to all other U. of I. museums, galleries and collections and to all other interested campus units and staff members.

For more information about the campuswide benefits of the Smithsonian affiliation, contact Scott Schwartz, SACAM archivist and primary contact between the U. of I. and the affiliates’ program.

For more information about the lecture series contact Bruce C. Craig, Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies at 202-357-3148 or