Object Study or Viewing

Object study and viewing are valuable close-looking opportunities for students. Object Study is offered in our specially outfitted Contemporary Craft Gallery in the dedicated object study glass case. Selected artworks may remain on view for up to three weeks. Object viewing is for a single class visit. No talk or accompanying information is typically offered.

Object Study Artwork Selection Guidelines

  • You may request a maximum of six works, depending on size.
  • The total dimensions of available display space are 6.5 feet tall by 15 feet wide by 21 inches deep.
  • Fewer objects may be displayed, depending on size. 
  • Size restrictions for paintings are 41 inches tall by 46 inches wide or smaller.
  • Size restrictions for prints are 36 inches tall by 40 inches wide or smaller.
  • Size restrictions for objects are 24 inches tall by 60 inches wide by 21 inches deep or smaller.
  • Weight limit is 50 pounds.

Object Viewing Guidelines

  • Artworks not on view may be requested for temporary viewing during a scheduled period, e.g. class time.
  • Works on paper are most suitable.
  • You may request a maximum of 15 works, depending on size.

Schedule a visit

Timing Your Visit

Click on the link above to schedule a visit to the object study classroom.

Requests must be submitted 15 business days before your desired date. Someone from the collection and exhibitions team will respond to your request within two business days. We process requests on a first-come, first-served basis. Submitting a request does not guarantee that the date and time you request will be available for your visit.

The works you request will be retrieved from storage and be made available for you to study or view during the date and time you have the space reserved. You may search parts of the collection online. The works requested must be portable. Some works may not be available based on size limits, condition, or unavailability due to display or loan.

The time allowed for object study is three to six weeks depending on additional requests for the space.

If you have questions, please contact the museum.

Look to Learn

Look to Learn is a tested, classroom-based program, especially for elementary students. It uses Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for developing language arts and critical thinking skills through viewing, discussing, and writing about works of art from museums around the world, including the David Owsley Museum of Art in Muncie, Indiana.

The simplicity helps with continued and generalized application and creates better listening and dialogue skills for teachers and students.

The program improves critical thinking and language arts core competencies.

Every month, students and teacher leaders talk about three works of art, using a simple structured method to facilitate open-ended discussions.

How Can We Participate?

Discuss participation with core staff members.

Determine the student population and discussion leaders.

Consider if there are up to two hours for discussion and up to one hour for preparation each month.

Contact our curator of education for more information.

Download the brochure (PDF).

Teaching with Art

Faculty, museum staff, and educators use distinct models for teaching with art—often two or three are combined in a single teaching moment.

  • Visual Literacy—Learning how to look actively and critically enhances understanding and prepares students to better navigate the complex visual environment of the 21st century.
  • Art as Cultural Context—Works of art can provide broader cultural context for a particular period or a specific locale. By introducing students to visual culture as part of a social and historical moment, this approach further aids understanding of course material. 
  • Art as Conceptual Framework—Works of art can illustrate, expand on, reinforce, or test the understanding of ideas and conceptual frameworks encountered in class. This model often supports cross-disciplinary learning. 
  • Art as Primary Text—Using art as a primary text introduces students to the concept of art as a cultural document. 
  • Art as Creative Focal Point—Works of art can serve as a creative focal point or inspiration for class assignments such as research papers, visual analysis exercises, creative writing, musical compositions, student presentations, blog posts, or oral language exams. Download our writing guide (PDF).
  • Art Museum Pedagogy—Professors and students have a forum for learning museum teaching strategies, developing their teaching practice, and analyzing them for effectiveness. 
  • Museum as Specimen—The entire Museum of Art is conceptualized into an object to enable students to analyze its theoretical and practical implications.

Thanks to the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College for its guidance in developing these models for using art museums and their collections as a learning resource.