Photo by Bob Christy '95
What do Willy Wonka, Fred Astaire and Mr. Peanut have in common? They all wear top hats—and they all were represented in a recent exhibit, What’s Real? Investigating Multimodality, which was created, designed and installed by a group of 40 students from the School of Visual Communication Design and the School of Library and Information Science in spring 2014.
Installed in the MuseLab, a 20-by-20-foot space on the third floor of the University Library where museum studies students can get hands-on experience, the collaborative exhibit focused on using four modes of interaction—sound, movement, touch and text—to explore the topic of a top hat.
Why a top hat? “It’s just one example of how an ordinary object can take on multiple new meanings when displayed in a museum context,” says Kiersten Latham, Ph.D., assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Science and curator of the MuseLab. “A top hat is more complex than you’d think!”
The exhibit ran from May to December; a new MuseLab exhibit, created by nine graduate students in a spring semester museum studies course, opens April 15. It’s related to The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts that supports community reading programs and is based on characters in the novel Old School by Tobias Wolff.
Learn more about MuseLab