Selecting Objects

In addition to over 400 objects on view in our galleries ranging from a stunning ancient marble portrait bust of the Roman empress Faustina the Elder to the work of leading contemporary artists such as Lin Tianmiao, there over 20,000 objects accessible to you in Art Museum storage or as a part of the Skinner Museum collection. The diversity and quality of objects available for teaching and research projects is remarkable, including an outstanding collection of works on paper and three-dimensional objects from many different cultures and time periods.

There are a few paths you can take to explore objects in the collection: 1) the Five College Museums Online Database; 2) consultation sessions with Museum staff; and 3) object lists created by other faculty.

NOTE: When choosing your objects, please keep in mind that “less is more” when it comes to teaching with art. We find the experience has a greater impact when students have time to consider the works of art more in-depth, focusing on a single work of art or a small group of objects for an extended period of time. Typically, 10-15 objects works well as a maximum number during a single class period.

Online Collections Database

The shared Five College Museums/Historic Deerfield Collections Database is a great resource for researching the collection by utilizing multiple search features such as artist, culture, date, materials, and other keyword options. The database gives you access to the cataloguing information of our entire collection. Currently, you will find digital images linked to more than half of the objects with new images being added every day. *Search Tips

Planning Session with Museum Staff

Museum staff members are available to offer ideas and suggestions based on your interests and course syllabus. These meetings can be highly productive and allow you to see possible works of art in person and discuss the design of your course visit. We can help suggest appropriate art, create objects lists with images, and given advance notice, supply additional object information.

Please contact Ellen Alvord, Andrew W. Mellon Coordinator of Academic Programs to schedule a planning meeting for Art Museum visits, and Aaron Miller, the Joseph Allen Skinner Assistant Curator to schedule a planning session for visiting the Skinner Museum.

Object Lists Created by Other Faculty

Lists created by other faculty with similar interests can also provide helpful ideas. Please contact Ellen Alvord to view sample lists.