A Class Act - Art and Its Markets adds to Art Museum collection
The Miami University Art Museum recently acquired four new prints thanks to the successful acquisition proposals presented by students in Prof. Michael Hatch’s Spring 2022 class, Art and Its Markets (ART420D), a program offered by the Department of Art.
On April 27, the MUAM staff listened to seven student presentations, each of which aimed to convince the museum to purchase new artwork. Over the course of the semester, students applied their humanities research skills to works on loan from Thomas French Fine Art (Akron, Ohio). Students took into account the art historical value of the work while also considering the Museum’s needs, such as its teaching mission, current collection holdings, and various university courses and programs that might make use of the print. In this respect, the Museum became a laboratory for humanistic inquiry for the students as well as a space for honing pre-professional skills.
After listening to the pitches presented by students, the Museum’s Director and Chief Curator, Jack Green, its Curator of Exhibitions, Jason E. Shaiman, and its Collections Manager/Registrar, Laura Stewart, each of whom worked with the class during the semester, selected three presentations for acquisition approval.
Chloe LeRoy argued that Richard Hamilton’s screen print, Kent State (1970), ought to be part of the Museum’s collection because it dealt with complex issues of media representation and politics in relation to an infamous moment in Ohio’s history. Hamilton (1922-2011), a British artist often described as the earliest practitioner of Pop Art, printed the image from a photograph taken of his television screen as it broadcast coverage of the Kent State University shootings on May 4, 1970. The print’s monumental scale, and the questions it raises about how we receive and process difficult information through various re-mediated forms, made it a clear winner. LeRoy argued that with it the Art Museum could exhibit themes related to social justice, media studies, and local history.