MuseLab Exhibit Celebrates "Museality"

The Kent State University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) recently hosted an exhibit titled "Museality" in the MuseLab wall gallery.

“Museality” explored the core mission of the MuseLab as a creative and collaborative space for thinking, doing and learning about museal things. 

In addition to being the first exhibition in the lab that directly addressed the concept of museality, this was also the first one to be curated by a faculty member since the MuseLab opened in September 2013. SLIS Assistant Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., who directs the MuseLab and also conducts research on the relationships between humans and physical objects, curated this exhibit.  

“Museality” was also the first MuseLab project involving extensive collaboration outside of Kent State. In order to fully explore the concept of museality, actual artifacts, ranging from art to science to history, were needed. (The MuseLab is not a collecting facility.) Partners included the Kent Historical Society Museum, Cummings Center for the History of Psychology and local community members, as well as Kent State School of Art Galleries.  

“While this exhibition may have seemed small in size, it was large in terms of planning, research, and coordination of content,” Latham said. “Subtle changes occurred throughout the year, and we hope visitors watched for them. For the visitor, it was a chance to think outside, around and over the box.” 

Situated on the third floor of the University Library, in the School of Library and Information Science, the MuseLab consists of two exhibit spaces (a main gallery inside and a wall gallery outside) and a well-equipped work area. Its mission is to generate and inspire research on museality; to provide an atmosphere of innovation, creation and collaboration among faculty, students and the community; and to allow students in the School’s museum studies specialization to put into practice skills and concepts they have learned in courses.

Installations can vary from quick prototyping projects to more traditional gallery exhibitions. The MuseLab is built around design thinking principles of observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualization of ideas and prototyping; it is a methodology for innovation and enablement.  

The MuseLab is open to visitors Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.