Michael Palma for RMAEducation Center 180
Photo by Michael Palma, Courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art

Over the past twenty years, the role of the museum educator has evolved from that of a talking-head guide to that of a central leader in developing, researching, and facilitating museum visitor experiences. This shift has been marked by increased scholarship on effective museum education practices—a turn that has led to the professionalization of the field. Across the country, museums have responded to the increased rigor of learning and teaching in museums with more career opportunities for trained museum educators including school, family, and public program directors, as well as interpretive materials and digital media developers, access program coordinators, teaching artists, and visitor studies evaluators.

CCNY’s MA in Art History: Concentration in Art Museum Education is designed to meet the needs of professionals and students interested in creating and understanding art museum education today.  Emphasizing object-based learning and participatory approaches to learning in museum contexts, this program will provide students with a critical exploration of museum education, grounded in the belief that museums are important spaces for community engagement, civic participation, and social change.

This new interdisciplinary program—the first at a public university in New York City––brings together scholarship and practice from art history, art education, visitor studies, and learning theory to prepare students to be effective producers and evaluators of learning and teaching in museum settings. Drawing on connections with local museums, all students will complete a hands-on apprenticeship in education in a NYC museum. This program will complement CCNY’s vibrant Concentration in Art Museum Studies, further expanding the options for our students to pursue in-depth study in this emerging field.