Can you find the hidden digital images of art and artifacts in Walsh Gallery’s collections? A new augmented reality exhibit allows visitors to see them using their phone. Look for the blue Hidden Treasures signs around campus or use the map below to find them.
Undergraduate students in Professor Christine Lhowe’s course “Typography I” and graduate students in Professor David Bonner’s “Object Care” recently visited the exhibition Matter + Spirit at the Walsh Gallery. Both visits enabled students in two distinct disciplines to apply their knowledge of graphic design and museum collections care using the exhibition as a case study. Students conversed with gallery staff, asking questions, making observations and connecting theory with experience. Prior to their engagement with staff, students viewed the exhibit independently. The variety of materials employed by the artists range from pieces with AR (augmented reality) components that immerse viewers in additional layers of experience, LED light sculptures powered by Arduino microcontrollers and kinetic installation art in addition to other media.
Visiting on February 21, students in Professor Lhowe’s “Typography I” were briefed on the overall theme of the exhibition with a discussion of some highlights. The conversation articulated the main points
of the exhibition, enabling students to critique the branding, typography, layout and overall design components chosen by the organizers and designers of this traveling exhibit from Taylor University of Indiana. In this manner, Matter + Spirit became an immersive backdrop through which to review how graphic design contributes to the function, communication and aesthetics of the exhibition, preparing students to produce similar projects for clients when they enter the field.
Students in David Bonner’s Museum Professions graduate course, “Object Care” similarly used Matter + Spirit to apply to their knowledge of caring for museum objects, exhibition planning and installation techniques. Conversations centered on the challenges of traveling exhibitions and the necessity of planning, flexibility, good communication and coordination among gallery staff, contractors and exhibition organizers. Other challenges discussed included the care of unusual and delicate materials, troubleshooting hardware components and planning for the unexpected while staying on deadline.
After the gallery conversation, students were then given a behind-the-scenes tour by Collections Manager Laura Hapke who showed students the preservation lab where staff actively work on collections prior to exhibitions, preservation or cataloguing tasks. A variety of objects were on view so that students could see first-hand the way materials age and how the aging process is abated by specific collections care strategies. This conversation was followed by a visit to the storage areas where students saw how objects were stored for long-term care when not on view to the public. Students saw painting racks, rolled and hanging textile storage, compact shelving and map cases, among other storage furniture options
for museum art and artifacts. The different types of storage allow the Walsh Gallery to care for objects in the best manner possible to meet both professional and ethical standards for care.
Since 1994, the Walsh Gallery has enhanced classroom learning for a variety of graduate and undergraduate students using exhibitions as an interdisciplinary educational tool. If you would like to visit Spirit + Matter with your group or you’d like to know more about how experiential learning can enhance your classes, contact us at 973-275-2033or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a research appointment. The gallery is located on the 1st floor of the Walsh Library and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Groups of 8 or more must make an appointment prior to visiting.
On Monday, January 23rd, the Walsh Gallery opened its first exhibition of 2023, “Matter + Spirit.” The show features Seton Hall University’s Lauren Schiller, Professor of Fine Arts, whose finely detailed oil paintings grace the entry to this group show. Curated by Rachel Taylor of Calvin University, the exhibition stems from a residency that brought together a cohort of artists from North America that traveled to China in 2018 to engage with colleagues in that country. The show is a sort of visual dialogue resulting from this two week program which acquainted participants with the current art scene in China while focusing their attention to the place of spirituality in contemporary life. On the afternoon of the opening reception, Professor Schiller discussed her experiences in China in a presentation attended by students in her Painting I class, faculty and retired faculty. This was followed by a visit to the gallery to view the exhibition and Schiller’s paintings. Schiller also made remarks at the opening reception to the larger group of attendees later that afternoon.
After Professor Schiller’s remarks at the opening reception, which coincided with the Lunar New Year, students studying Chinese Language (Mandarin) with Dongdong Chen, Asian Studies, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures welcomed the Year of the Rabbit with a chorale performance of songs in Mandarin to an enthusiastic crowd.
“Matter + Spirit” was later visited by Professor Nathan Oates’ creative writing class. Students were given a brief talk on the formation and theme of the exhibition before exploring the show independently. They then settled in to write an assignment based on an object they selected from the 44 artworks on display. Some students were attracted to traditional forms of art such as painted scrolls featuring panoramic landscape imagery, while others were drawn to a multi-media installation featuring LED lights, kinetic elements, and drawing, while other students preferred to investigate AR (augmented reality) artworks that are activated with a mobile phone app they can download to their cellphone.
The Walsh Gallery welcomes visits for personal enjoyment and enrichment. We also welcome scheduled group visits with that use the exhibitions or university’s collections for pedagogy and research. If you would like to inquire about how the gallery and special collections can support your teaching and learning experience with objects and/or exhibitions, please contact us at email@example.com
The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a research appointment. Now on view in the Walsh Gallery: “Matter + Spirit” through Friday, May 12th. The gallery is located on the 1st floor of the Walsh Library and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Groups of 8 or more must make an appointment prior to visiting.
Students in Dr. Laura Wangerin's "VIKINGS!" class discuss a replica of the Gundestrup Cauldron from the university's collections
This semester, students experienced history first-hand through object-based learning (OBL), an approach that adds value to classroom studies. In OBL, students learn via engaging in conversation and discourse using artworks, artifacts, archival materials, or digital representations of unique objects as catalysts to foster a sense of wonder, awe and curiosity. Object-based learning prioritizes critical thinking inspired by close observation to connect objects to concepts learned in the classroom.
Dr. Laura Wangerin’s “VIKINGS!” class visited the Archives and Special Collections recently to view the university’s replicas of the Gundestrup Cauldron and Book of Kells in a conversation guided by the student’s thoughts, questions and observations – relating the imagery back to what was learned through readings and coursework. Students were taken by the scale of the work, the construction of the cauldron, and the high relief imagery which is visible 360 degrees around. Engaging objects via the senses connects students to the past while making connections to the present. Objects are powerful tools for learning, especially when students realize they are standing in the presence of an object made by people or cultures from long ago. In this sense, objects can become almost like time machines, bringing us back to pivotal moments in human or natural history.
Noticias Summarias das Perseguições da missam de Cochinchina, principiada, & continuada pelos Padres da Companhia de Jesu. (OCLC #: 16077971)
In Dr. Kirsten Schultz’s course “Religion and Society in Early Latin America” students visited to see rare books published around the time of the Counter-Reformation to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the issues at stake as they discussed the role of the Church in colonial society. Conversation centered on the adventencia pages of the “Noticias Summarias,” which served as an agreement that the book could be published. The volume is an important account of the Portuguese mission in Cochinchina and Tonkin, today’s Vietnam.
The Walsh Gallery and Archives and Special Collections care for the university’s various collections and make them available for study, research, exhibitions and related programs. Objects include materials from world cultures and span from the neolithic era to the present. Highlights of the collection include Byzantine and Greco-Roman coins and artifacts; Native American basketry, ceramics and beaded crafts along with tools and leather goods; Japanese toys and 19th century woodblock prints; 3,000-year-old Chinese ceramics and metalwork; contemporary Chinese art; 17th and 18th century European engravings; and documents dating to the founding of the Newark Diocese and Seton Hall College. There are also significant collections from New Jersey politicians such as Brendan Byrne – the state’s 47th governor and Donald M. Payne, New Jersey’s U.S. representative who served the 10th congressional district from 1989 until his death in 2012.
A portion of the university’s collections can be viewed on Google Arts and Culture and you can view scholar Dr. Caterina Agostini’s recent digital exhibition, “Currency Culture” which uses coins from the Ron D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities to discuss notions of power and politics as conveyed on minted coins from the Byzantine and Roman Empires.
Those interested in viewing the Gundestrup Cauldron can view it through the end of the semester on the first floor of the Walsh Library in the display windows outside the Archives and Special Collections. If you would like to make an appointment to use the collections for research, class visits or other scholarly pursuits, please contact us. We would love to hear about your projects and how we can work together to illustrate your ideas!
The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or email@example.com to make a research appointment. Now on view in the Walsh Gallery: Seton Hall Re/Collects through Friday, December 9th. The gallery is located on the 1st floor of the Walsh Library and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Groups of 8 or more must make an appointment prior to visiting.
On the second floor of the Walsh Library is a rare petroglyph – a prehistoric rock carving – made between 3000-1000 B.C.E. The petroglyph generates numerous research requests each year due to its unique nature. One of those requests was made by the National Scenic Visitors Center/Earthwalk USA of Zionsville, Pennsylvania for their Earthwalk Explorer multi-media interactive exhibition. They requested a visit to the petroglyph to do a 3D scan which was written about in a previous blog post roughly two years ago.
This traveling exhibit pairs maps, topography, history, culture, written and spoken language and storytelling in an immersive experience that projects videos onto a topographical map of the East Coast of the United States. The looped video begins by revealing the original Lenni Lenape trails that eventually became the highways and busy roads we use today; facets of Lenape history and culture, and other fascinating information about the region’s forests, parks and borders. The National Scenic Visitors Center worked closely with Chief Demund of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania who offered this blessing which opens the video program:
“Grandfather, sacred and holy father, you whose breath we hear in the four winds. I say thank you for the wingeds, the four leggeds, the fish people, the creepy crawlers, the plants, the trees, the grandfathers. I say thank you for the breath of life and for all my relations.”
– Chief Demund, Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania
Adjacent to the exhibit is an activity area featuring a reproduction of the petroglyph. Visitors learn about the glyphs – their conjectured meaning, what they depict and how the words are pronounced in Lenape. The project relied on the Lenape Talking Dictionary for some of the interpretations. Professor Sean Harvey of Seton Hall University discussed the petroglyph’s significance in a video produced last year for Native American Heritage Month.
The petroglyph was located on Rudyard Jennings’ property along the Delaware River in Walpack Township, New Jersey until 1968 when it was moved to Seton Hall University by Herbert Kraft, a field archaeologist specializing in Lenni Lenape people and culture. Kraft was also a renowned professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the university. At the time of the move, Kraft sought to preserve the petroglyph which was at risk due to a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to dam the river which would have flooded the area: submerging the petroglyph. Plans to build the Tocks Island Dam were never realized, but the petroglyph had already been moved by the time the project was abandoned. The petroglyph is the only one discovered along the Delaware River, making it a unique resource that offers tantalizing glimpses into the life and values of the Lenni Lenape people.
Gallery Director Jeanne Brasile recently visited the Earthwalk Explorer which is on view at Northampton Community College in Easton, Pennsylvania to see how the petroglyph was integrated into the exhibit and interpreted for visitors. Brasile met with Mary Ellen Snyder, Executive Director of the National Scenic Visitors Center and Amy Hollander, Strategic Consultant at Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor who developed the educational programs and much of the content. Joining them were two student docents, Alexander Almonte and Alejandro Zuniga who enthusiastically and expertly guided the experience for visitors. Almonte described how his interest in GIS (a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface) and geography drew him to this work but the exhibit also stirred more of a connection to his own lineage which is partly indigenous Peruvian on his mother’s side. The exhibition uses the concept of geography and topography as a jumping off point for discourse on issues such as colonialism, land stewardship, respect and migratory patterns.
The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a research appointment.
Retired Seton Hall University Librarian and Assistant Professor, Richard E. Stern recently donated a significant collection of African art and artifacts to the University. Stern acquired the objects when he was a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Liberia from 1969 to 1970. The donation includes more than sixty-five pieces of cloth – some hand-dyed by Stern – using traditional methods and natural materials such as indigo and cola nuts. Many pieces were hand-woven, including a small selection of Kente cloth from Ghana. Other hand-crafted objects include wooden masks and sculptures, cast metal figurines and beaded necklaces. “This donation is significant for Seton Hall University. The objects illuminate world cultures and artistic traditions unique to West Africa, while embodying the donor’s personal relationships to the people he met and places he traveled during his Peace Corps service. Stern’s personal recollections about the objects and the people connected with them are being preserved, providing a crucial layer of context for the collection. We could not be more appreciative.” stated Gallery Director Jeanne Brasile.
The collection amplifies the university’s Diversity Initiatives which celebrate a rich tapestry of global ideas and perspectives. Stern’s generous donation will expand Seton Hall’s collections overall, while augmenting existing collections of African art and artifacts including sculptures, paintings, photographs and prints. Presently, Collections Manager Laura Hapke is preparing the objects for exhibition by cataloguing each item and creating a safe storage environment for each, thereby ensuring access to this unique collection for generations of students, faculty, researchers and scholars.
The Walsh Gallery cares for and interprets Seton Hall University’s collections of material culture. In addition to the African art and artifacts the university collections include The Wang Fangyu Collection of Asian Art which spans over 3,500 years of cultural traditions from China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, India and Vietnam; The Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology which includes objects from North American cultures including the Leni Lenape, Paiute, Zuni, Pomo and Tlingit peoples as well as objects from South America, Asia and Europe; and The D’Argenio Collection of Coins and Antiquities which includes coins from ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Byzantine cultures. Appointments to see the collections can be made by completing this form. A sampling of our collections can be viewed on Google Arts and Culture. The Walsh Gallery is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday—Friday and is located on the first floor of the Walsh Library. The gallery is free and open to the public.