Chau Chak Wing Museum appointments connect objects with students

25 May 2020
Two new curators specialising in using museum collections to teach students have been appointed to the Chau Chak Wing Museum.
photo of eve guerry and jane thogerson with trees in the background

Academic Engagement Curators Dr Eve Guerry and Jane Thogerson

As Academic Engagement Curators, Dr Eve Guerry and Jane Thogersen will work with the University’s senior researchers, lecturers, subject matter experts and museum curators. They will integrate the museum’s cultural, visual arts and scientific collections into the University’s curricula, planning the best ways to engage students through interaction with objects. Their expertise also extends to providing advice for designing installations and exhibitions so students are encouraged to connect with them.

The Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney is under construction and due to open this year. The museum brings together the University’s Macleay, Nicholson and University Art Collections. Objects associated with natural history, ethnography, science, visual arts, decorative arts, historic photography and antiquities are richly represented in the collections, which include some of Australia’s most historic items. 

“These curators will design learning experiences for students involving close examination and integration of the museum’s objects,” said Dr Paul Donnelly, Deputy Director of the Chau Chak Wing Museum.

“Subjects such as archaeology, art history and biological sciences have long embraced learning through hands-on experience at the University. Object-based learning (OBL) has been critical to these disciplines for as long as they have existed. There is strong evidence that the active participation of OBL results in greater intellectual retention. We are keen to integrate this style of learning by introducing the rich diversity of the museum’s collections.”

The new museum’s three dedicated object-based learning studios will provide supervised opportunities for students to handle and examine precious collection items, including those not on display.

“Nothing compares with the opportunity to connect to an object or specimen when given the space and time to explore it in detail,” said Dr Guerry.

More than 150-years after it was built, this anatomical model from still inspires learning across the University. Credit: Tim Harland

“Object-based learning will place the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the centre of transdisciplinary learning, teaching and research at the University of Sydney.”

“Object-based learning offers students a chance to broaden their perspectives, hone critical skills for future employment and, more generally, as effective global citizens,” said Thogersen. “The incredibly rich and wide-ranging collections of the Chau Chak Wing Museum offer so much potential in this space, and it is exciting and humbling to be able to assist in forming these connections.”


About the Curators

Eve Guerry is a museum educator with over 15 years’ experience in designing object-based learning strategies for curriculum-linked programs and exhibitions. She has a PhD in Egyptology and extensive experience in teaching and research for Archaeology, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel. Eve previously worked as the Head of Education programs at Macquarie University’s Museum of Ancient Cultures, where she integrated museum collections into teaching and research across campus as well as into innovative learning programs for early childhood, primary and secondary school students.

Jane Thogersen has been working with museum collections for over a decade, with a particular interest in building engagement and access to collections across multiple environments, collection types and platforms. Her interest in object-based life-long learning focuses on how university collections use innovative and cross- disciplinary approaches. As Manager of Macquarie University’s Australian History Museum she was responsible for the design and implementation of object-based learning programs at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, and developing object-based learning experiences for the wider community. 

Jocelyn Prasad

Media and Public Relations Advisor

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