About the project:
Many colleges across the country possess small but rich art collections that have the potential to expand curricula in dynamic ways across a range of subjects. Such collections often hang on the walls of offices, public buildings, or are hidden away in storage. Collections staff work diligently to engage faculty with the collection, encouraging them to incorporate artworks into their courses. The central mission of Washington and Lee’s University Collections of Art and Art History (UCAH) is to advance learning “through direct engagement with collections, [to] stimulate appreciation of global cultures, and [to] inspire leadership in the arts and sciences.” Often, however, professors outside studio and art history departments shy away from using art in the classroom because they are not sure how to make it relevant to their own disciplinary teaching.

We seek to facilitate the cross-disciplinary use of Washington and Lee’s (W&L) art collection by creating a series of multidisciplinary lesson plans focused on objects in the collection. The lessons will cultivate visual literacy abilities to interpret and evaluate the world around us—important tools for student success in any discipline or career field.

This project is funded with the generous support of the Associated College of the South (ACS).

Who we are:
Mackenzie Brooks is an Assistant Professor and Digital Humanities Librarian at Washington and Lee University. She serves as co-chair of the Digital Humanities Action Team and liaison to the English Department. Prior to her current position, she worked as Metadata Librarian at W&L and at the Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Library.

Alston Cobourn is the University Archivist at East Carolina University working to preserve the university’s history and to increase its capabilities with electronic records.  Previously she was the Processing and the Digital Assets Librarian at Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, the Digital Scholarship Librarian at Washington and Lee University, and a staff member at North Carolina State University.  Her career has included work with digital and analog preservation, archives and records management, scholarly communications, reference, and cataloging.  She holds a BA with majors in English and minors in Creative Writing and Journalism as well as a Masters of Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Andrea Lepage is an Associate Professor of Latin American and U.S. Latina/o art history at Washington and Lee University. Her current research project focuses on The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a half-mile-long mural that depicts California’s history. The scenes emphasize the role played by Native Americans, Mexican Americans (sometimes self-identified as Chicana/o), African Americans, Asian Americans, and Jewish Americans in creating California’s culture.

Elizabeth Anne Teaff is an Assistant Professor and the Head of Access Services at Washington & Lee University.  She has worked at W&L, in various positions within the University Library, for the past 12 years. Currently, she supervises interlibrary loan, circulation, the library’s large format printing and scanning services, and their popular technology for check-out program. One of her newest duties is as liaison to the departments of Art, Art History, Religion, Philosophy, Theater and Dance.

Collections and Gallery Staff:
Clover Archer Lyle, Director of the Staniar Gallery

Ron Fuchs, Curator of Ceramics and Manager of the Reeves Center

Patricia Hobbs, Associate Director, University Collections of Art and History