Cultural Resources | Engagement | Academics | Technology | Enrichment

- The Andrew W. Mellon CREATE Grants Program -
Leveraging Cultural Resources through Intra-Institutional Collaboration

Academic Year 2018 – 2019 Awards

Summer 2018 Grant Cycle

“Animating Antiquity: Interactive Environments for the Lowe Art Museum’s Collection of Ancient Artworks”

Grantee: Karen Mathews, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor of Art History, College of Arts and Sciences

Featured Collection: Lowe Art Museum

Research Statement: Animating Antiquity is a student-generated curatorial project that provides a multifaceted contextualization of selected artworks in the Lowe Art Museum’s Antiquities Gallery. Ancient objects were functional at their core, but their display in a museum setting makes it difficult to recreate and understand their original function and context. Through the use of digital technologies—3-D modeling and printing—this project aims to reinsert these objects into their original settings and reanimate their tactility and functionality, forming new modes of interaction with artworks in the space of the museum and the virtual realm. Students will engage in activated, museum-based learning through the creation of 3-D models of the Lowe’s ancient artworks, the compilation of art historical dossiers contextualizing the objects, the printing of 3-D models, and the formulation of interactive activities with the printed models for visitors to the Lowe. All these elements combine to allow museum visitors to experience ancient objects in three different but interconnected modes—viewing the artworks in the gallery, touching and using the printed models, and interacting with 3-D models and web content online. The project’s goal is to integrate the Lowe’s visual resources into the UM curriculum while enriching the visitor’s experience at the Lowe. The Animating Antiquity project combines innovative technology with pedagogy and community outreach to provide students with important professional skills and expertise while expanding the boundaries of the museum and connecting people and objects in interactive environments.

Amount Awarded: $4,150

Featured Materials

Fall 2018 Grant Cycle

“The Russian Avant-Garde and its Legacies”

Grantee: Nathan Timpano, Ph.D. / Associate Professor of Art History, College of Arts and Sciences

Featured Collection: Lowe Art Museum

Research Statement: The proposed exhibition project, tentatively titled The Russian Avant-Garde and its Legacies, forms the basis of the 2019 ArtLab @ Lowe program. This exhibition-based course at the Lowe Art Museum allows faculty to mentor students by organizing an exhibition centered on objects in the museum’s permanent collection that pertain to the faculty’s expertise. Given my interest in Central & Eastern European modernism (1890s – 1930s) and postmodernism (1945 – 1970s), students will conduct relevant art historical, linguistic, cultural, and socio-historical research on Russian and Russian-diaspora avant-garde art, postmodern art, and literature; will write wall texts and catalog entries for the exhibition; will work on design elements for the catalog and exhibition space; and will give gallery talks once exhibition opens at the Lowe in April 2019. Given the “hands-on” nature of the ArtLab @ Lowe program, the course is a highly enriching experience for students, and an important opportunity for them to learn about curatorial practices from a firsthand perspective. Through the varied collection of Russian avant-garde and postmodern artworks housed at the Lowe, as well as the considerable research material on Russian culture and language in Richter Library, the 2019 ArtLab @ Lowe exhibition will equip students with the tools needed to explore the many intriguing facets and avenues of Russian modern art, culture, language and literature. The Russian Avant-Garde and its Legacies exhibition will thus subsist as a prime example of the power that such hands-on, inter-disciplinary learning can have on a student’s academic, as well as future career, development.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

Featured Material

Russia Unframed. Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Russia Unframed, April 18, 2019 to April 1, 2020. Organized by the students of ARH 511: ArtLab @ the Lowe under the direction of Dr. Nathan Timpano, Associate Professor of Art History, Director of Graduate Studies and Head of Art History, University of Miami.

“Documenting Diversity and Democracy in Brazil”

Grantee: Stephen F. Butterman, Ph.D. / Associate Professor of Portuguese, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, College of Arts and Sciences

Featured Collection: Special Collections / Digital Collections

Research Statement:

  1. The research-based component of the CREATE grant is as follows: To organize an interdisciplinary symposium on “Diversity and Democracy in Brazil” that would bring together colleagues working in both the U.S. and Brazil, including academics, artists, poets, and writers whose research projects or artworks are dedicated to cultural production in contemporary Brazil over the course of several decades. The symposium would bring activist, poet, professor and attorney Dr. Leila Míccolis, the “godmother” of the collection, to deliver a keynote address at the conference. While Dr. Míccolis is in residence at U.M., I would like to take the opportunity to conduct an oral history so as to understand and to underscore Leila’s life and her life’s work that ultimately led to giving birth to the most extensive collection on Brazilian alternative / counter-cultural production anywhere in the world, while recognizing the importance and timeliness of the collection itself. Ultimately, I would like to edit or co-edit a collection of extended essays based on presentations of the panelists.
  2. Pedagogical activities associated with the CREATE grant are as follows:
    1. Integration of archive into the curriculum of the undergraduate core course Queer Studies (GSS 305, formerly WGS 305), which I am scheduled to teach in spring 2019.
    2. Development and implementation of combined undergraduate class / graduate seminar in (Counter)Cultural Representations of Brazil under Military Dictatorship devoted exclusively to research of primary sources in the archive to be offered in fall 2019.
  3. The Digital Humanities component of the project is as follows: Digitization of specifically selected materials to showcase Intersectionalities and(dis)connections between burgeoning social and political movements in Brazil over the course of the final quarter of the 20th century, focusing on human rights and social justice. As we put together both course offerings and a research symposium that positions at its core the contents of the collection, it will be especially productive and useful to speak to and/or about cross-fertilization among the following ongoing movements, forming historical, political and social trajectories that would shed more light on recovering the voices of marginalized Brazilians. This project would highlight intersectionality between various factors that, while examined in a specifically Brazilian cultural context, addressing and denouncing misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism, classism, anti-indigeneity, xenophobia, and the criminalization of poverty.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

Featured Materials

“Attic Treasure: Flagler’s Dream Train”

Grantee: Judy Hood, M.F.A. / Senior Lecturer, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences

Featured Collection: Special Collections

Research Statement: Blueprints dating from 1905, discovered in the attic of the home of Henry Flagler’s Chief Construction Engineer, William H. Krome, inspire the collaborative efforts of conservation, pedagogical integration, and historical documentation to preserve, conserve, and share these artifacts, revealing a hidden page of Florida history. Faculty from Preservation Strategies, Architecture and Engineering Libraries, and the Arts and Sciences Writing Program propose to stabilize, repair, and digitize these preliminary blueprints of Flagler’s FEC Railroad from Homestead to Key West. The significance of these documents in curricula and their relativity to other library collections will offer a model for the potential pedagogical impact and transdisciplinary opportunities across the University. The emerging narrative documented through video recording, photo essay, and media report will capture the story of how chance discoveries breathe new life into past dreams.

Amount Awarded: $3,500

Featured Materials

“Placing History: An Augmented Reality Tour of Coconut Grove”

Grantee: Kim Grinfeder, M.P.S. / Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, School of Communication

Featured Collection: Special Collections

Research Statement: I propose to create a historical tour of Coconut Grove using an augmented reality application. The mobile app will consist of a map with locations in Coconut Grove where curated photographs archived in the University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections were taken. When someone arrives at the correct spot, they will see a small 5×7 sign marking the location and will also receive a notification, triggered through GPS, that they are close. Once they open the app, people will scan the area and will be able to overlay the historic photo over the current location.

The project will make use of the following special collections at the University of Libraries: Bob Simms collection, Ava Moore Parks photograph collection, Finlay B. Matheson Collection, Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove Records, Hurricane Andrew collection, Ralph M. Munroe Family Papers & Michael Carlebach collection.

Through the map, the app will encourage people to visit the historical neighborhood either by bike, car, or foot and explore the Library’s photo archive while viewing them in context. Much like a treasure hunt, the app will keep track of how many sites you have visited and how many are left. New sites can be introduced over time. The project will induce a reflection of the neighborhoods past and present tackling important topics such as historical preservation, gentrification, overdevelopment, school integration, and more. It will also be, simply put, a celebration of a unique neighborhood in Miami and what gives it its character.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

Featured Materials

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