Teaching with works on view
Many class sessions at the Johnson take advantage of the Museum’s temporary exhibitions and permanent collections galleries to explore new ideas and test knowledge acquired in the classroom. Class sessions with works on view allow students to discuss artworks within the greater context of a gallery, compare works from different time periods and geographies, and to consider art within the institutional structure of a museum.
Works on view are available for students to access on their own whenever the Museum is open to prepare or complete assignments such as research papers, group activities, and oral presentations. We have provided suggested activities to spark close observation, visual analysis, and discussion—often in the service of writing—as well as worksheets and suggested prompts to organize your session and deepen discussion.
First-Year Writing Seminars, language classes, and other courses that prioritize skill-based learning outcomes are strongly encouraged to teach with works on view. The Museum asks for reservations to ensure that groups in the galleries do not overlap.
Resources for faculty and instructors (PDFs)
Teaching with works pulled from storage:
For class sessions that require works pulled from storage, a maximum of twelve (12) objects not currently on view can be requested. There may be restrictions based on size and availability.
Classes with more than twenty (20) students are often required to split into smaller groups due to the size of most galleries and classroom spaces. The Museum accommodates large classes (roughly 40–150 students) and classes with multiple sections (such as introductory-level language classes) by working with section leaders such as instructors and TAs.
Small course-related installations in the curricular gallery can be requested for a period of two weeks to allow for extended viewing and research by students. One semester advance notice is required to organize curricular gallery installations. Requests are met on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Museum collaborates with the Center for Teaching Innovation, First-Year Writing Seminars, and others to offer pedagogical workshops for faculty and instructors. These workshops introduce special exhibitions, provide information about works on view, and offer assistance with crafting effective in-class activities and related assignments.