Release Date: February 14, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo is launching a museum outreach initiative tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 15), inviting students from Cheektowaga Middle School to the UB Anderson Gallery to work with and learn about precious cultural artifacts in the university's new multimillion-dollar Cravens World collection.
The field trip, which will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m., is the first, on-site educational outreach activity that UB has planned with the 1,100-piece Cravens collection, which contains archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world, including masks, dolls, vases, weapons and old forms of currency. The items date as far back as 4,500 B.C.
Tomorrow, graduate students, including Cravens collection teaching assistant, Laura Harrison, and Cravens Project outreach teaching assistant, Eric Yarwood, will lead 90 middle schoolers through three different exercises:
- A scavenger hunt: The children will become familiar with the collection by locating objects on display that have certain functions or come from certain geographic areas. The activity will help the youngsters draw connections between the material cultures of different regions of the world.
- Mask making: The middle schoolers will examine photographs of masks from the collection before crafting their own face coverings. The activity will help the students understand the role of masks in different societies and cultures.
- Cataloguing: The children will put on gloves and handle some of the artifacts under supervision, learning how to examine an object for clues about its geographic origins, purpose and significance. The exercise will introduce the middle schoolers to techniques that professional archaeologists use when cataloguing excavated objects.
Annette Cravens, the alumna, world traveler and philanthropist who donated the artifacts to UB's College of Arts and Sciences, will be at the Anderson Gallery for tomorrow's event. Her gift to UB included funding to make the collection accessible to the community, including to public school students.
A slide show presentation of the Cravens collection is available here.
Peter Biehl, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Cravens World project, will also be on site, along with Sarah Robert, assistant professor of learning and instruction and director of outreach for Cravens World.
The UB Anderson Gallery is located at 1 Martha Jackson Place, off Englewood Avenue near Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo, near the UB South Campus. An additional 90 students from Cheektowaga Middle School will visit the gallery on Wednesday for the same trip.
Media arrangements: Charlotte Hsu in UB's Office of University Communications at 510-388-1831.