Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Museum Studies, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Dr. Cynthia Conides, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Education & Director of Museum Studies

First Reader

Dr. Cynthia Conides, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Education & Director of Museum Studies

Second Reader

Nancy Weekly, M.A., Burchfield Penney Instructor of Museum Studies & Head of Collections and the Charles Rumsey Curator, Burchfield Penney Art Center


For this project the author partnered with the Steel Plant Museum of Western New York (SPM) in South Buffalo to create a special exhibition focused on their 14 prints of Norman Rockwell paintings in the museum’s collection. The exhibition used supplementary artifacts to add personal narratives to Rockwell’s paintings. The exhibit diversified the audience of the SPM and created a potential new audience the museum could target, while still appealing to their current audience through the use of personal narrative. The museum had not curated an art exhibition before and this project proved to be beneficial by exploring new themes that dealt with art, chemistry, biology, and labor history. In developing an exhibition proposal the author researched the Norman Rockwell paintings and supplementary information and artifacts and provided the museum with a research paper on the paintings and contextualized items from their collection. Text labels were created for the exhibit including, an introductory panel and individual labels for each artifact were also created. To compliment the exhibit, lesson plans were also created for classrooms to use. Teacher packets were created and distributed to local schools as a from of marketing. Other marketing techniques included using social media and print advertising. Exhibit installation utilized proper hanging, artifact placement, and label placement. Appropriate lighting and seating were installed for the exhibit. Overall, the exhibition used knowledge from all of the training received from the Museum Studies Program. It required the knowledge and application of exhibition design, curation, marketing, education coordination, and objects management. The successful planning and installation of the exhibit required extensive research and planning. The exhibit has helped the SPM to broaden its audience and be a catalyst for new partnerships with local schools and museums.