More good news for our local art scene! See the press release below.
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The Wolfsonianâ€“Florida International University is proud to announce that it has been awarded a three-year, $500,000-grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to strengthen the academic role of the museumâ€™s collections and programs. This prestigious grant will enable The Wolfsonian to establish a variety of programs, all designed to encourage more intensive use of the museumâ€™s resources by FIU faculty and students.
Among the initiatives that The Wolfsonian will undertake with support from this grant are the following: establishing a teaching gallery on FIUâ€™s main campus in collaboration with the Frost Art Museum, in which objects from The Wolfsonianâ€™s collection can be installed; providing stipends to faculty members so that they can integrate objects from the Wolfsonianâ€™s collections in their teaching, as well as develop new courses based upon the museumâ€™s resources; creating a fellowship program for Ph.D. candidates in the Department of History who will use The Wolfsonianâ€™s resources in their dissertation research; and establishing a semester-long visiting scholar program, which will bring distinguished scholars from around the country to The Wolfsonian in order to work with FIU faculty and students. With support from the grant, The Wolfsonian will work with students to organize a conference, which will give undergraduate and graduate students at FIU a formal opportunity to present research they have conducted at the museum.
The Mellon Foundation grant will also enable The Wolfsonian to enhance its staff capacity in order to undertake these initiatives. The museum will hire a full-time Mellon Coordinator of Academic Programs, who will have responsibility for collaborating with faculty members and students on projects that engage the museumâ€™s resources. It will also add a part-time staff member to its Registration Department, who will assist the Coordinator of Academic Programs in making the collection accessible to members of the academic community.
The Mellon Foundation has played a key role in strengthening the position of art museums on college and university campuses throughout the nation, especially by encouraging and supporting interdisciplinary use of museum collections for advanced research and teaching. Earlier rounds of grants have done much to enhance academic programs at university art museums and their parent institutions at Princeton, Williams, Smith, Harvard, Dartmouth, and the University of Chicago, among others.
â€œSince joining FIU in 1997, The Wolfsonian has worked hard to encourage use of its resources by faculty and students and to integrate the museumâ€™s collections into teaching and advanced research,â€ said Cathy Leff, Wolfsonianâ€“FIU director, upon learning of this award. â€œThe Mellon grant will enable us to significantly strengthen the museumâ€™s integration with the academic programs of the university.â€