The Art of Learning and the Learning of Art through the Marriage of History and Innovation: A DC Museum and College of the Arts

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Virginia Tech


This project is a study of the process of human learning, specifically related to arts and culture, and how a community interacts with and creates its own art and memory.

Historically, the museum has functioned as a type of self-guided institute of higher learning for the public. It has been utilized to display and memorialize works of cultures throughout history. It has become a place where the public interacts with artifacts from cultures past and cultures present.

This project addresses the following: In addition to a museum's function of educating the public, can a museum function as a classroom or laboratory for tomorrow's artists and educators? Can museum visitors become part of the creative process? Can a college for fine art and museum studies become integrated creatively into a museum, generating mutual benefit for both institutions and the city? Can the present generation of artists and educators build upon the advancements and setbacks of the generation that went before it?

This thesis is written as a fiction story to best capture and communicate the process of experiential learning and the making of cultural memory. Some people and events are based on true facts; others have been changed, added to or omitted for the sake of a good story



D.C. Museum, College of Fine Art