Greetings and thanks for checking up on the blog for the History of Art Majors Society (HAMS) at Cornell University! My name is Cameron Ewing, and I’m the president for this year, attempting to fill the (metaphorically) giant shoes of last year’s president, Maggie Merrell.
For those who don’t know about the History of Art Majors Society, our main focus each year is the curation and organization of a full exhibition at the university’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum. The society gives undergraduate art history majors an opportunity to apply their knowledge of the discipline in a curatorial context: we work with amazing pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, and, with the help of the museum, in particular our liaison Alana Ryder, help organize symposia and artist talks, as well as write and design an exhibition catalogue.
Though HAMS works closely with the museum, and with the Art History Department, it is an independent, student-run organization, meaning that students have a truly unparalleled experience to dictate and direct the exhibition process. The members of HAMS have great power and, as we know, great power comes with great responsibility, so students who participate in the group gain incredible experience of the organizational and logistical challenges that must be surmounted to successfully put on an exhibition. As part of the group’s effort to raise awareness of our spring exhibition and engage with the broader Cornell community, we also work with our student organizations and host events throughout the year, including museum trips, film screenings, and lectures.
I have been a member of HAMS since freshman year, and served as secretary of the society when I was a sophomore. HAMS has without a doubt provided me with some of my fondest memories and most valuable experiences at Cornell, and, as president this year, I’m excited to help provide other students with the kind of opportunities that have been so important to and memorable for me.
I encourage you to look at blog posts from last year, if you haven’t already, for a sense of the organization, and to keep checking in for updates on progress for this spring’s exhibition. This year, our exhibition’s focus will be ‘revolting,’ and we’ll be posting on the blog regularly about relevant artworks, lectures or events on campus, and points of contact between our exhibition and broader issues in the world. Though HAMS is, out of necessity, comprised of a small group of students, this blog is open, and I hope you will not only read posts, but also comment, sharing thoughts, ideas, and suggestions about the direction our organization is taking.
Come back soon!