Last evening, the student curators of a New Deal exhibit installed on the second floor of the Green Library on the Modesto Maidique campus were treated to a reception hosted by FIU Dean of Libraries Laura Probst and head of Special Collections Vicki Silvera. There the students had the opportunity to speak with Steve Sauls, Wolfsonian museum founder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., museum director Cathy Leff and other library, history, architecture, and Honor’s College faculty and students in attendance about their curatorial experience and their displays. All of the items in the exhibits were selected by students taking my Great Depression and New Deal Era in Film and History class this fall semester, and utilized rare books and ephemera from the Wolfsonian-FIU library as well as items on loan from the Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Private Collection in Miami.

At the close of the reception, the student curators were presented with tee shirts from the museum gift shop and copies of the poster for the exhibit created by the Wolfsonian’s own art director, Tim Hossler.

The eleven display cases filled by these students were supplemented by a virtual display of the exhibits created by the previous year’s class which were shown on a continuous loop on a large flat-screen monitor in the same section. Two of the student curators of that exhibit, Al Pena and Robert Gueits, were also on hand to discuss their displays dealing with the radical response of Leftist critics of Roosevelt’s New Deal and the experiences of African Americans enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

My special thanks to Laura Probst and Vicki Silvera for their support in providing the display space for this exhibition and for putting this reception together and providing refreshments. We look forward to working together with Vicki in planning some new collaborative exhibition projects.

~ by "The Chief" on December 11, 2009.

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