Campus News Blog:Meadows Museum largely ignored by SMU students

April 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Lisa Rodriguez

Ask students what exhibit is being featured at the Meadows Museum and most will give you a blank stare. Unless you’re an art history major, you probably don’t know that the museum is currently featuring the largest survey of Etruscan art presented in America to date. And has been for over two months. Furthermore, unless you are required to visit for a class assignment, you’ll probably never see it.

I haven’t—actually, the only time I’ve even visited the museum (to actually look at art, not for a dinner or luncheon), was on a visit as a prospective student. My point, the Meadows museum is one of the biggest selling points for prospective students to SMU, but most students will never visit.

SMU boasts the Meadows museum as one of its treasures. Many students can tell you that the museum has the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain itself. They read it in SMU pamphlets and heard it various times at SMU information sessions and at orientation. It’s a great resource and draws a lot of national attention for its exhibitions, but the sad truth is that is goes largely unused by students.

So the next time I have a free afternoon, I think I will go check it out. Few universities can brag about such a great resource right on campus, and it would be a shame for me to ignore a rare cultural experience sitting right under my nose.

From the Temple and the Tomb: Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany will be on display at the Meadows Museum until May 17.

Arts Beat: Etruscan Jewelry Demonstrated

February 23, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Ellen Buie Niewyk demonstrated how the Etruscans made jewelry out of a small silver ingot at the Meadows Museum at SMU. The Thursday night lecture, “Taking the mystery out of ancient metal techniques,” was presented in synergy with the current exhibit From the Temple and the Tomb: Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany sheets

From an anthropological perspective, it was something interesting to witness. Niewyk showed her audience how to form silver ingots into flat sheets with different techniques. She also explained the intricate techniques of granulation, which is a process used by metalsmiths to decorate a base of metal by attaching small metal spheres to the surface.

The demonstration was interesting, and I have never seen someone make jewelry before, but what intrigued me the most was the way she presented everything.

“We are going high-tech to showing low-tech techniques,” Niewyk said.

They were streaming live videos of the demonstration, providing pictures, and showing a PowerPoint presentation.

Everyone, including the people in the back row, was able to see every move Niewyk made with the thin wires. She showed the audience how to make the Etruscan braid out of wire, which turns out to be just an illusion.

Her high-tech ways provided new ways of presenting art. It was worth seeing, even if I didn’t know anything about the Etruscan civilization.

Posted by Laura Vasquez