Craftsmanship in Early America, taught by department professor J. Ritchie Garrison, features quite a bit of hands-on learning. The course is part of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, but is open to history department graduate students.
In March, the class took a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, where they were able to work in several trade shops. Over three days, students made S-hooks at the blacksmith’s, spoons at the foundry, staves at the cooperage, and much, much more. This experience gave students a more thorough understanding of the work of pre-industrial artisans.
For their final project, students designed exhibit panels, each focusing on a different tool. On the last day of class, students mounted their printed posters on gatorfoam. Being able to design and fabricate and exhibit panel economically, using widely available software and materials is an important skill for students planning to enter the museum field
The finished exhibit panels will be displayed near the Museum Studies and Winterthur Program offices at 77 East Main Street in Newark.