Podcast Archive

Art in Focus Podcast: “Carrie Mae Weems” with Annabel Holland and Allison Wojciechowski

The McMullen Student Ambassadors are pleased to present the newest season of our premiere podcast, Art in Focus. This season, we’ve decided to feature both professor and student conversations about our Fall 2018 exhibition, Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement.

For this episode of Art in Focus, we have invited Allison Wojciechowski and Annabel Holland, two students in Professor Robin Lydenberg’s “Race and Gender in Visual Culture” course. Allison and Annabel have spent the semester learning about Weems from one of the two exhibition co-curators and have a great deal to say about the artist and her work.


McMullen Updates Museum Events

In Case You Missed It: Open Mic Night with SLAM! + The Laughing Medusa

By Katherine Oksen

On Thursday, October 11th, the McMullen Museum collaborated with SLAM! and The Laughing Medusa to host an open mic night.

With the room filled with the smell of hot coffee and tables laden with macarons, pastries, and baked delicacies, a gorgeous night of poetry and prose began. SLAM! (Soul, Love, and Music) is Boston College’s own spoken word group, and The Laughing Medusa is BC’s only women’s literary and arts journal (striving to bring feminism to a publication near you.)


Members of each group performed at will, showering us with poems and pieces about love and life and hurt and hate. Despite the rainy weather, providing those darling melancholy vibes, the atrium of the museum was filled with students there to perform, support their friends, and listen to what their fellow peers had to say. The McMullen provided an open, safe space for students to share their words with a kind of fervor, intensity, and passion that cannot be replicated in the typed or written form. Snaps were heard all around in response to beautiful and powerful lines woven from experiences pulled from the full spectrum of human emotion, including abuse, racism, misogyny, ignorance, and heartache.


Miya Coleman, president of SLAM!, and Taylor Puccini, editor-in-chief of The Laughing Medusa, did an incredible job both performing their own works while also facilitating the entire event and encouraging the audience to to speak their minds.


The McMullen is hoping to continue hosting events like this, perhaps collaborating with these student groups again in the spring and even making this an annual event each fall. Thanks to everyone who came out to support all of our aspiring poets!


Museum Events Uncategorized

In Case You Missed It: Fall 2018 Student Opening

By Annabel Steele

The McMullen Museum kicked off the new year with an Art After Dark event on Friday, Sep. 7. Students enjoyed refreshments and participated in activities while learning about the semester’s exhibitions, Strategies of Engagement by Carrie Mae Weems and Not There, Not Here by Boston College professor Hartmut Austen.


Weems’s work encourages us to critically examine American society and identify and acknowledge imbalances of power and miscarriages of justice. Accordingly, many of the activities touched upon themes of social justice and American identity.

In the first floor conference center, students were able to take selfies of themselves and write down what America or American identity means to them on the photos. The photos were then clipped up in a room while one of Weems’s videos played in the background. Meanwhile, the button-making station proved to be highly popular, as students designed buttons from templates and from scratch. One of the most popular slogans from the evening was “Bring Back Late Night.”



On the third floor, students identified the topics they are most passionate about by putting stickers on posters, creating a visual representation of the issues that concern the student body. On the terrace, students enjoyed the late-summer golden hour over Boston and watched Dear White People and Random Acts of Flyness.


Throughout the night, students enjoyed performances from groups such as the Beats, Sexual Chocolate and F.I.S.T.S in the museum lobby. They also wandered through the second floor gallery, observing Weems’s works as the exhibition officially opened for the semester.




Committee News Uncategorized

Committee Updates: Digital Humanities

By Ashley Puk

In this new series, go behind the scenes of the McMullen Museum as our Student Ambassadors give you the inside scoop on some of our current projects.  First up, Ambassador Ashley Puk of the Digital Humanities Committee takes us through the process of creating digital walkthroughs of the exhibitions.

The best invention of the twenty-first century might just be the ability to see art at the click of a button. Do you want to see Washington Crossing the Delaware? No more having to marry your wealthiest suitor to be able to travel to New York City to see it.1 Sometimes I think we forget how wonderful it is to have this democratic access at our fingertips.  

Sure, purists will likely say “art isn’t the same viewed on a screen as it is in person.” In person, you get to see the brushstrokes, the molded piece of clay—the tangible things that an artist labored on for days, months, years. I have to say I agree. However, understanding the geographical limitations of being able to go and physically see art, we at the McMullen want to bring our exhibitions to you. You may have seen our virtual walkthroughs for our last few exhibitions, namely our fall 2017 exhibition Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape and spring 2017 exhibition Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic.

I’m going to take you through how those amazing renderings of our real-life exhibitions are transported directly to your computer screen. If you take a look at any of our walkthroughs, they might remind you of street-view in Google Maps. It works the same way!

Currently, members of our Digital Humanities committee are working on the walkthrough for Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature, including student ambassadors Emily Castro, Tim Pietropaoli, Brantford Park, and Ashley Puk. We all had varying levels of experience starting this project (I had none!) but the best part is learning as you go.

1. Photographing the exhibition(s)

We photograph the exhibitions using a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Vivitar 8mm panorama lens mounted on a panoramic attachment to a tripod. The attachment is kind of L-shaped, with a grip that allows us to turn the camera in a stable 360º circle to capture the entire space that we are working in. We plan a floor map of each room and decide which vantage points we want a panorama from. Our most recent walkthrough has about eighteen different vantage points from which which you can view the exhibition.


We have to keep in mind that the images will be rendered digitally, so it’s important to take enough photos at each vantage point in order for the program we use, 3DVista, can find control points to connect each image. We try to avoid getting our visitors in the photos but sometimes we can’t avoid capturing our own reflections on the pieces. See if you can find us!

2. Stitching the photos

Once we have photographed all the rooms, we upload them into Stitcher, a program included in the 3DVista package. Stitcher does the hard work for us, i.e. finding the anchor points in each photo for each vantage point to connect them into one smooth, continuous photo. Sometimes the program does not have enough information to smoothly connect the photos, resulting in abrupt cuts between photos that distort the artwork and the surrounding space. To solve that issue, we either have to photograph the space again or manually connect the points to help the program to understand what overlaps from the previous photo connect with the subsequent photo.


3. Make it useful!

Once all the rooms are stitched together, we add the information display cards as clickable points on each photo. This allows you to read them just as you would in person! We upload photos of the display cards into the 3DVista Virtual Tour program and add “hotspots” in the form of white circular information buttons. We can attach the label card images as ‘actions’ that lets the program know we want that image to show up in our walkthrough when you click on each white button.

Then, we add white anchor buttons that connect the images from room to room, so you can easily get to the next room, as if you were walking through the museum yourself.


That’s it! It’s not as complicated as I previously thought. Ultimately, our digital walkthroughs could never replace the atmosphere of walking through an actual museum exhibition, but they allow those who cannot visit us to have the experience, while also acting as an archive and informational source for our previous exhibitions that anyone can access.

Furthermore, exhibition design is its own subfield in museum studies. How art is placed and framed in relation to other pieces, the type of lighting used, and music playing (or lack thereof) all contribute to the atmosphere of an exhibition. Seeing JPEGs of the pieces in an exhibition versus how they were placed by a curator or exhibition designer in a finite space gives art a whole new dimension worthy of study.

I hope this guide was useful and please stay tuned for our next exhibition walkthrough for Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature curated by BC Professor Dr. John Sallis. It will be available in mid-June.

Podcast Archive Uncategorized

“Art in Focus” Podcast: “Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature” with Literature Professors Min Song and Joseph Nugent

National Spirit
Cao Jun, “National Spirit” 国风, 1999 ink and watercolor on paper, 180 x 144 cm

The McMullen Student Ambassadors are pleased to present our new podcast, Art in Focus, featuring an informal discussion between professors from various academic departments at Boston College. With each new episode, we aim to uncover a new perspective on the works on display, informed by research and methodologies in areas of study across the University. Each conversation will bring the exhibition’s works “into focus” as both historic records and living objects that trade in today’s cultural and economic capital.

For this episode of Art in Focus, we have invited Professor Min Song and Professor Joseph Nugent from the English Department. Each professor was asked to choose a single piece from Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature, and share anything and everything that strikes them as interesting or curious. They chose the works featured here.

The Return of the King
Cao Jun, “The Return of the King” 王者归来, 2011 ink and watercolor on paper, 212 x 144 cm
Cao Jun, “Genesis” 创世纪, 2010 ink on paper, 368 x 144 cm
Campus Creatives Uncategorized

Student Submission: Photographs from Ralph Stover and Reid State Parks

A collection of photographs from Reid State Park on Georgetown Island, Sagadahoc County, Maine and Ralph Stover State Park in Plumstead and Tinicum Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania taken by Boston College sophomore Hannah Petty.  

This  is a submission by a Boston College student.  The Terrace accepts submissions by all faculty, staff, and students on any art- or museum-related topic.  Submissions can be directed to  

By Hannah Petty
English and Political Science major, class of 2020

Podcast Archive Uncategorized

“Art in Focus” Podcast: “Nature’s Mirror” with Communication Professors Celeste Wells and Marcus Breen

The McMullen Student Ambassadors are pleased to present our new podcast, Art in Focus, featuring an informal discussion between professors from various academic departments at Boston College. With each new episode, we aim to uncover a new perspective on the works on display, informed by research and methodologies in areas of study across the University. Each conversation will bring the exhibition’s works “into focus” as both historic records and living objects that trade in today’s cultural and economic capital.

For the second episode of Art in Focus, we have invited Professors Celeste Wells and Marcus Breen from the Communication Department. Each professor was asked to choose a single piece from Nature’s Mirror, and share anything and everything that strikes them as interesting or curious. They chose the works featured here.

Spilliaert, Scene of War
Léon Spilliaert (1881 Ostend-Brussels 1946), “Scene of War,” 1917, india ink, brush, and watercolor on paper, Collection of Jean and Howartd LeVaux
Verboeckhoven, Mountainous Landscape with Bridge
Eugèbe-Joseph Verboeckhoven (1799 Comines-Warneton-Schaerbeek 1881), “Mountainous Landscape with Bridge,” n.d., oil on paper, laid down on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Whitney Collection, promised gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and purchase, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003.42.55



Welcome Back!

welcome back landscape

As the school year settles into its second week, we here at the McMullen are counting down the days to our Fall 2017 opening. A new semester means new exhibitions, new events, and new—and old—student ambassadors. From doe-eyed freshmen to weathered seniors, perhaps still in denial, the McMullen is eager to be welcoming BC students to a second year at our Brighton campus location. With a year of experience under our belts and a whole host of new and exciting activities and events, we’re once again here to act as refuge from the ever-burgeoning weight of academics, a sanctuary dedicated to keeping a little peace and quiet, providing a little aesthetic enjoyment, and maintaining some sense of sanity.

wbl 3.pngIn our main gallery, we’re starting off the year with Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape curated by Boston College’s very own Jeffery Howe. Continuing the home-grown tradition, our third floor corridor is again adorned with the paintings of a BC professor. Alston Conley’s luminous skylines bring Belgian and Netherlandish landscape traditions across time and sea to contemporary New England. Both will be on view starting September 10th. And finally, the colorful abstractions of Esteban Lisa complete our third-floor space, which opens the 16th.

TriviaNightCropped.pngAs always, the McMullen is holding an exclusive Student Opening—complete with games, refreshments, and live performances—on September 22nd. But before that, we’re taking advantage of Boston’s last few weeks of summer for a night of visual culture trivia out on our namesake Terrace. Trivia Night marks just the beginning. We hope you’ll join us here throughout the semester, whether it be our student exclusives, our normal hours, or late on Thursday nights. Here’s to a brand-new year, to new adventures we’re thrilled to be sharing with you, at your museum.

See you soon!


Museum Events

In Case You Missed It: A Taste of the Islands and Spanish Game Night

By Ileana Lobkowicz

Students gathered for the McMullen’s second ‘Art After Dark’ event of the semester to celebrate the tastes of the Caribbean islands, participate in a selection of Spanish games, and revel in the sound of Caribbean music. Inspired by the current Rafael Soriano exhibition, The Artist as Mystic, the museum collaborated with Boston College’s Caribbean Culture Club to create an evening of Spanish cultural immersion for visitors.



Ethnic food such as empanadas, plantain chips with mojo, jerk chicken skewers, and fruit-infused water were savored as visitors lingered around the buffet of cuisines on offer. 

Spread out on tables throughout the museum’s colorful galleries were a series of games spanning from Spanish Scrabble and Bananagrams to Cuban cubilete and 9-dot dominoes. 


Lecture Archives

“The Medieval Cathedral as Museum” (Lecture 3/16/17)

During the Middle Ages, a pilgrimage provided the most popular and convenient form of travel for people with means. The destinations were cathedrals and their collections of relics, reliquaries, and, coincidentally, great works of art. Medieval cathedrals met many of the criteria we use today to define museums: they had collections, an audience (both local and foreign tourists), an educational agenda (Catholicism), were open to the public, and provided the foundation for a growing tourist economy in many cities.Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.15.09 PM

Mary Malloy has been on the faculty of the Museum Studies Program at the Harvard Extension School for more than a decade, and won the teaching prize in 2010. She earned her MA in American Studies at Boston College, and a PhD at Brown University. The author of three novels and four works of nonfiction maritime history, Malloy has walked across England to trace the pilgrimage route of Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath,” and has followed the character’s path to Rome, Bologna, Santiago de Compostela, and Cologne to look at cathedrals and their collections. She is currently working on a book on the history of museums.

The lecture, “Medieval Cathedral as Museum,” took place at the McMullen Museum on March 16, 2017. A recording can be accessed via the following link: Mary Malloy Lecture. Please be sure to update Adobe Flash on your device to access the software’s full interactive features.