The students of On Exhibit: The Art of the Pacific Islands thank the following staff members from the IU Art Museum for sharing their time and expertise with the class: Diane Pelrine, Linda Baden, Ed Maxedon, Brian Garvey, Kevin Montague, Anita Bracalente, Katherine Paschal, Ann Fields, Max Shaw, and Dennis Deckard. Thanks also to Jim Canary of the Lilly Library. The web module would not have been possible without the work of Illya Moskin, Web Developer.
The class was taught by Jennifer Wagelie, whose position as Senior Academic Officer at the IU Art Museum, and by extension, the class itself, is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs in this web module are by Kevin Montague, IU Art Museum ©2013, Indiana University Art Museum, all rights reserved.
On Exhibit: The Art of the Pacific Islands
For this installation and online exhibition, students completed research on objects in the museum’s collection, while also forming “a museum within a museum” by organizing themselves into departments, which they staffed as follows:
Justina Yee, Head
Stephanie Beck Cohen
Marketing & Public Relations
Ginny Martin, Head
Website & Graphic Design
Jess Durkin, Head
Illya Moskvin, Web Developer
Special Thanks to Adrienne Kaeppler
The students were honored and delighted to have Adrienne Kaeppler come to Bloomington and spend time with the class. Kaeppler is a leading anthropologist, who has truly “written the book” on the study of the art of the South Pacific. She is currently the Curator of Oceanic Ethnology at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a UNESCO consultant on Intangible Cultural Heritage and the recipient of many awards, including the 2010 Smithsonian Secretary’s Distinguished Lecture Award. Her publications and exhibitions are too numerous, important, and influential to be properly summarized in this space. She has in many ways opened the world of South Pacific art and culture to the newest generation of scholars.
During her almost weeklong visit to Bloomington she spent significant time with the On Exhibit class, beginning with a lecture on the making of tapa, its uses and importance, especially focusing on the kingdom of Tonga, where she has done much of her research. She also examined at the pieces of tapa in the IU Art Museum collection with students. While examining these works, Adrienne Kaeppler explained motifs and the identification process, and she continued this teaching process while also examining works in the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The students were also fortunate to hear Kaeppler lecture on her most recent book Holophusican: The Leverian Museum, a project she has been working on for over 40 years. She concluded her visit by examining the Shaw tapa sample book in the Lilly Library collection, during which she found many mistakes in the original identification that she was able to analyze and correct. In addition, Kaeppler loaned the exhibition two tapa beaters and a tapa purse from her personal collection.
It is not possible for the students to properly express their gratitude for Adrienne Kaeppler’s generous guidance, help, and encouragement. For all she has done for us, we are truly grateful.