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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Perlman Teaching Museum: An artistic gem in the Weitz Center

<pening of the new Perlman Teaching Museum this fall, art at Carleton enters a new era.
Over 1,000 students and Northfield community members have already visited the new museum since its debut. The facility features two galleries that will replace the old exhibition space in the basement of the Concert Hall.

“It’ll be fun to see how this Weitz Center for Creativity vision comes alive in this better facility,” said Laurel Bradley, director and curator of the Pearlman Museum.
The Museum is featured prominently in the WCC and is accessible to students and members of the Northfield community.

The old gallery “was completely isolated,” said Charlie Bentley ’13, a student worker at the art gallery. “The new museum feels much more mature; it’s crisp and bright and approachable.”
Furthermore, the new additions of gallery security and climate controls vastly amplify the range of art Carleton is eligible to borrow.

The museum already has two new exhibitions open. The official opening for both was on Sept. 16 and drew visitors from both the Carleton and Northfield communities. The first exhibition, titled “Middle School,” is a collection of dynamic black and white photographs of the old Northfield Middle School right before its transformation into the WCC. The pictures are featured in the smaller of the two galleries and were taken by Cinema and Media Studies professor John Schott.

The other exhibit, “Seeing is Knowing: The Universe,” featured in the larger space, presents a diverse mix of contemporary art, photographs, charts, historical books, and scientific visualizations that represent the exploration of celestial realms, including a large neon model of a comet, a felt model of a meteorite, and detailed paintings of the moon.

“It seems like an interesting challenge to explore the boundaries of art and science,” said Bradley, who collaborated with members of the Physics and Astronomy departments at Carleton to better place the exhibit in a scientific context. 

“I provided some insight as to the current perception of the moon, the sun and comets and a few points of clarification,” Physics professor John Weiss said. “I also helped with finding and contextualizing some of the old scientific works that are featured.”

The cooperation between the Art and Science departments embodies the prescribed name of the museum as a teaching facility.

“It is a way of emphasizing that the museum is a pedagogical space just like classrooms,” Bradley said.
“I see it as a chance to show students how art and science can produce insight into the same things and how they even play off of each other,” added Weiss. “It’s often assumed that the two areas are exclusive, and that just isn’t true.”

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