Museum Studies

MSC01 1050
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Hibben Center
Rm 320

Phone: (505) 277-0786

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Museum Studies Celebrates Fall 2017 Graduates

December 18, 2017

On Friday, December 15th The Museum Studies Program had a grand celebration.  Our first cohort of graduate students graduated!  We enjoyed a small reception with our graduates, their families, their graduate committee members, and our supporting faculty and staff.

MSST graduate Students

Our Fall 2017 cohort of graduates include:

Liz Marshall (far left)  comes from a background in theater design and education as a teacher and administrator. Her interests in museum studies has been in design, interpretation and administration. Her final project culminated in a partnership project between the Albuquerque Museum, Tierra Adentro Charter School and the University of New Mexico. Liz acted as a facilitator in the partnership that created new programming for high school students at The Albuquerque Museum in Traditional Arts Workshops taught by local master artists. Program funding were established through grant applications and work with foundations. And, dual credit opportunities for high school students in museum studies and education was established for as an extension. Her work supported her program of study by establishing partnerships that promote positive outcomes for local museums, schools and the UNM Museum Studies Department.

C. L. Kieffer Nail’s (second from left) final project for her masters degree in museum studies was to organize and carry out the 19th Annual Anthropology Graduate Student Union's (AGSU) Conference on April 3-4, 2015. In addition to organizing the conference, she was also in charge of the AGSU photo contest and subsequent exhibition as well as the silent auction at the conference. Collaborative university museum programming such as this student developed event plays a critical role in offering a diverse educational environment as well as providing a community outreach opportunity to inform the public about research conducted by UNM students and faculty. This type of museum programming is important for this specific community, as since it encourages multiple organizations to reaffirm their connections and work towards a common goal of disseminating information and educating the public.

Leon Natkar's (middle) project focused on the Dorothy Maxwell collection of Katsina tihu. In the American Southwest Hopi Katsina tihu (kachina dolls) are one of the most iconic symbols of Native American culture. Commodification of tihu began in the mid-nineteenth century. Over the last century Katsina tihu have become an emblematic and commercially valuable part of Hopi material culture, yet their original purpose, both in the context of a religious artifact and as an item to be traded within the culture, is often elusive. Working with Hopi consultants, this collection presents an opportunity to understand tihu as ritual objects and as a commodified art form. This project also researched the origins of the katsina doll trade and the manufacture of tihu. Using the Dorothy Maxwell collection and the Maxwell’s accession archives, along with the information provided by the Hopi consultants, I was able to construct a history of the collection and biographical information on several of the carvers represented in the collection. Based on this information, I created a new catalogue for the Maxwell, which identified carvings which should not be shown to the public and provided information that can be used by future researchers to interpret the collection based on Hopi perceptions of the tihu as ritual artifacts, symbols of Hopi creativity and artistic agency, and commercially valuable objects.

Steve Maness’ (Second from right) program path built upon his existing Master’s in Latin American Studies finished in May 2016. It included grant writing, fundraising, donor relations, public engagement & programs, historical site work and archival collections of many types (archaeological, historical, architectural, and special collections). His program also featured training in curriculum development and college teaching. In addition to keeping the Museum Studies Office well-entertained since 2014, he has also participated in two internships (that came through his own outreach & collaboration talents), was American Alliance Fellowship recipient, published a scholarly article, created the Maxwell Museum’s Educational Backpack program, worked on the D. H. Lawrence Ranch Project in Taos, and is a current member of Joan Garry’s Non-profit Leadership Lab.