Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2015 (November 3, 2015)

The Great Yellow River: Exhibit in One Week

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October 26, 2015


In the Neese Gallery of the Wright Museum of Art, Gaizi Jie’15 installs a propaganda poster featuring Chairman Mao sitting alongside the Yellow River. Gaizi Jie, on an honors term this fall, was participating in an intensive museum studies course called Exhibit Workshop. Photo by Nicholas Mischler'14

Since 2010, as part of an annual test of human endurance, students and alumni worked around the clock the first week of classes to put together an art exhibit for Exhibition Workshop, a museum studies course.

“The Great Yellow River” opened in August in the Wright Museum of Art’s Neese Gallery and ran until mid-October. It featured pieces from the Wright’s collection covering the extensive history of one of China’s most important rivers. These ranged from a 180 C.E. rubbing of the first Chinese emperor, who is believed to have “tamed” the river, to a room-length reproduction of a 16th century scroll depicting the topographical features of the waterway. The exhibit also included photos taken by Beloit faculty members traveling on a grant funded by the Henry Luce Foundation initiative on Asian studies and the environment.

Joy Beckman, who holds the George S. Parker II Endowed Chair in Art History, co-teaches the course. She says the Workshop is different in that it has a “concrete public outcome” unlike a traditional classroom, which is typically a closed dialogue between students and faculty through research and papers.

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