A virtual exhibition curated by students in the art history class Building a Virtual Exhibition: A ‘Hands-On’ Experience (ARTH 1710), using works from the Wyvern Collection of medieval art.
The generous loan of works of art from the Wyvern Collection, one of the most important active private collections of medieval art today, has inspired student research and object-driven teaching from the moment it arrived on Bowdoin’s campus in the spring of 2019. While Covid-19 put a temporary halt to many in-person classes at Bowdoin, the pandemic was no match for the curiosity and eagerness across campus to explore and share these amazing works with the public. In the autumn of 2020, the students in the art history class Building a Virtual Exhibition: A ‘Hands-On’ Experience (ARTH 1710) worked collaboratively online to research and present some of the outstanding pieces of medieval art from the Wyvern Collection. Students worked primarily with items included in the BCMA exhibition New Views of the Middle Ages curated by Kathryn Gerry, the instructor of the course, in order to rethink and enhance the online presentation of medieval objects from a preliminary website launched by the Museum. Over the course of the semester, students explored a variety of new technologies and digital strategies drawn from the digital humanities and computer sciences, including 3D modelling, Augmented Reality (AR), and the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). The results of their innovative thinking, collaborative exploration, and hard work are presented here, with the aim of offering knowledge and inspiration to our online community audience.