Since fall 2009, the Study Gallery on the second floor of the Ackland has been a space for classes from all departments to enrich their learning through visual art.
The gallery is split into six sections, each of which can be reserved by a different class to come and view relevant artwork, most of it from the permanent collection.
The classes range in subject from art history to psychology to geography.
On Sept. 27, all of the pieces currently in the study gallery will be taken down and replaced by six new classes’ art, which will be installed on Sept. 30.
While this year’s summer reading art exhibition based on the book, “Just Mercy” by Brian Stevenson, currently uses one of these spaces, it will also be uninstalled.
But for now, five professors have art installed in their section for the use of their classes, per their request. Eight to 10 pieces are on display in every section, and the pieces stay up for about six weeks.
Sometimes classes meet in the museum, and sometimes the students have to come and look at the art out of class.
Carolyn Allmendinger, the director of academic programs at the Ackland, said each professor has to go through a process to set up their section. The professors decide the type of art desired, and they often spend a great deal of time looking through the museum’s collection to pick the right pieces.
“Art can be looked up by medium, artist and date range, but it is a lot harder to find art by subject matter,” she said, referring to the selection process.
Tania String, an art professor who currently has a section reserved, said that the museum presents a unique opportunity for her students.
“I think that probably very few of the students have ever had the opportunity to look at 16th-century prints in person,” she said.
“It’s kind of remarkable that they get to do this.”
Allmendinger believes contemporary art on the first floor is another great resource for students. She explained how one portrait may be looked at and analyzed by a painting class one day and a comparative literature class the next.
“There are so many different dimensions and ways to understand the art,” she said. “It’s a great example of what’s wonderful about liberal arts.”
Josefa Lindquist, a Spanish 105 lecturer who takes her classes to the Ackland, said being in the museum can make it easier for her students to give oral presentations because the museum can provide a more relaxing setting than the classroom.
“It takes the language out of the class and into real life,” Lindquist said.
Katie Toles, a student who visited the Ackland for a philosophy course, said that changing the setting of her class made a big difference.
“It was really cool to get out of the classroom.”