Arts and Culture

Student curated show highlights Wheaton’s history

Since its foundation in 1834, Wheaton has undergone significant changes, most notably converting from a female seminary to a college when it was granted its charter in 1912.

The exhibit “100 Years, 100 Objects” at the Beard and Weil Galleries celebrates this milestone in Wheaton’s history and showcases not only stories of the college’s past, but also the immense hard work and creativity of current Wheaton students.

Students in art instructor Leah Niederstadt’s Exhibition Design course last fall semester were given hands-on professional experience as they worked on all aspects involved in producing a museum exhibition. Students selected objects to be displayed, researched their history, wrote and recorded labels, and assembled the installation. To determine the show’s design, the class competed in teams and presented their ideas to a jury.

Art History major and member of the winning team Morgan Bakerman ’13 said it was her favorite part of the exhibition process and added, “It was really exciting to see the final product and what we had originally come up with in two dimensions finally in 3D.” Class members Walker Downey ’13 and Sophie Kilcoyne ’13 worked on designing the promotional materials as well as creating the general aesthetics of the exhibit.

College Archivist Zeph Stickney, who also helped teach the course, explained, “The main purpose of the exhibit is to show every object has a story.” Each of the objects has a unique place in Wheaton’s history. Although the exhibit will close on February 15, the stories continue with the 101st object: a large ‘W’ upon which visitors can leave Post-it messages, which will be added to the College Archives.