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Graduate Students Present Art History, Museum Studies Capstone Projects

Kathryn Bornhoft presents to her art history faculty committee and fellow grad students via Zoom.

Graduate students in art history and museum studies Kathryn Bornhoft, Shannon Walsh, and Meghan Johnson all successfully presented and passed their MA Capstone Projects in November. The students, who presented on Zoom to their faculty committee and fellow students, are all working toward the master of arts degree in art history in “Track 2” of the program.

Instead of a thesis, master’s students in Track 2 undertake an internship in their last semester of study and then make a major presentation to the art history faculty based on that experience as well as a thoughtful analysis of their coursework and professional experiences in the program. The internship and resulting presentation is a requirement for the Track 2 program for the MA degree in art history. In addition, Bornhoft, Johnson and Walsh have also opted to work toward the museum studies certificate, for which the internship is a requirement.

Art history grad student Meghan Johnson presents her MA Capstone Project via Zoom.
Art history grad student Meghan Johnson presents her MA Capstone Project via Zoom.

Meghan Johnson’s presentation was titled “Curating the Current: Museums and Adapting to Covid-19.” Johnson, originally from Crestview, Florida, earned her undergraduate degree from UA in studio art. Shannon Walsh’s presentation was titled “Breaking Down the Barriers: Encouraging Accessibility in Museums Through the Use of Social Media and Online Content.” Originally from Lebanon, Ohio, Walsh earned a BA from UA, double majoring in history and studio art with a minor in art history.

Photo: Feather Work Blanket by Natalie Mitchell (Metis/Lakota/Blackfoot). Photo by Rebecca Johnson. Part of “Matters of Representation” exhibition.

Kathryn Bornhoft’s presentation, “Matters of Representation,” discussed her internship at the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum in Tuscaloosa and her study of issues of voice and representation in the way museums have historically represented Native American culture and art. Bornhoft wrote, “Often relegated to oddity or obscurity, Native Americans have to fight to be seen as they are: a living, vibrant and diverse community.” She added that museums are vital in providing a path to that more realistic view. “As both centers of learning and trusted social institutions, museums must address past wrongdoings and provide an environment in which underrepresented communities can have authority and agency.” Bornhoft will present a curated exhibition celebrating Native American art from the Mississippian period to the present in October of 2021 at the  Transportation Museum. She received a BFA in ceramics from UA in 2016.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in art history and studio art, visit our Degree Programs page.