The Speakers Bureau program at the Cincinnati Art Museum is our “museum on wheels.” Specially trained volunteer docents come to your location to give rich presentations of an hour or less on many of the most popular areas of the Art Museum’s collections. These presentations are complete with colorful slides of artworks and enlightening information and anecdotes about each work. These engaging presentations are participatory, allowing the audience to ask questions and make their own observations.
Utilizing the arts in education helps students learn crucial problem-solving skills, stimulates cooperative, project-based learning, and meets the needs of a wide variety of learning styles, helping to better meet the needs of all students. Research has shown that an arts-rich curriculum leads to increased reading, vocabulary, and math skills. However, arts are increasingly being cut from curriculums throughout the country.
In 2009, the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art for Life initiative partnered with the Mason Area Arts Council, Mason City Schools, and the College of Mount St. Joseph to create and implement an arts integration program for students that was aligned to curriculum and content standards. Nine Mason City School teachers were recruited to create lesson plans around selected artworks from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collections. The teachers were given creative freedom to choose the lesson’s subject based upon their classroom needs. The result is a showcase of work that embraces the art of diverse cultures, including African American, Asian, and Native American. Utilizing reproductions of the Art Museum’s objects, each lesson plan was implemented the classroom. At the conclusion of the project, the lessons and examples of student work were shown at the district-wide “Taste of Mason” diversity event.
Use these lessons in your own classroom with online visual reproductions from the Art Museum’s collection.
How to become a conservator in the past many art conservators trained thorough apprenticeships with established conservators. Art conservators today primarily receive their training through a graduate program, completing the degree program specializing in paintings, objects, paper or textiles. While there are training programs abroad, there are just four art conservation training programs in North America: Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; State University of New York, Buffalo; University of Delaware, Wilmington; and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. They each accept six to ten students a year and range from two to four years in length. Included in all the graduate training programs is some form of internship for course credit. Successful applicants to the programs generally have an undergraduate degree in art history, studio art or chemistry, and extensive coursework in all three subjects. Most applicants also have some volunteer experience with one or more conservators, what is called “pre-program internship” service. A studio art and/or conservation portfolio is required with the graduate school application. After graduation conservators often work in temporary fellowships at one or more museums as they gain practical and institutional experience. A recent graduate might also choose to develop more of a focus in their specialty at this time, such as conserving only archaeological or only ethnographic objects, or working only on modern and contemporary paintings. Alternatively a program-trained paintings, objects, paper or textile conservator can choose to work at a regional conservation center, or to join or establish a private conservation practice. Works in private collections or in smaller institutions that have no staff conservators are usually cared for by a private conservator or at a regional center.