Campus Life

Museum studies interns bring back the 40s

The 1940s are here again, thanks to a new exhibition set to debut in the Helen Christou Gallery.

"Through my museum studies courses, I have come to realize that the artwork on the walls of a gallery doesn't get magically selected and placed there by elves," says Jarrett Duncan, who along with fellow museum studies intern Kasia Sosnowski, have just curated the exhibition going into the Helen Christou Gallery on Apr. 16, thereby obtaining first-hand experience about what goes into selecting and hanging an exhibition.

"Curating this exhibition was the best opportunity to put the knowledge I've gained in class into practice before graduating and finding myself in the real world," he says.

According to Dr. Josephine Mills, "the internships give students an in-depth sense of the range of work and career possibilities in the museum field, while also helping them develop a résumé of hands-on experience beyond the classroom."

The 1940s exhibition builds connections between the cultural collections in Lethbridge and gives the student interns the experience of curating an exhibition. Both senior students working on their bachelor of fine arts in art history/museum studies degrees, Duncan and Sosnowski drew from artworks in the U of L Collection, as well as objects and archival material from the Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives to explore themes from the 1940s.

"Although the Second World War was a key part of the period, we felt that this subject would be familiar to audiences, and other than referring to Bart Pragnell's military service, we focused on the major developments in artistic practice and on the local connections," explains Sosnowski.

They focus partly on imagery of agriculture, complimented with ordinary objects from everyday life throughout that decade, as well as on the transformation in artistic styles and imagery that occurred during those years.

The curators include work by major international artists including Jean Arp (Switzerland), Andre Derain (France), and Henry Moore (Britain), as well as Alberta artists Bart Pragnell, Roloff Beny and Clifford Robinson.

The exhibition complements Historic Lethbridge Week, May 1-9.