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backstory50: The Museum as Classroom

In my Ph.D. program in art history at Rutgers I had an unexpected experience. Part of my funding required that I serve as a teaching assistant and, to my great surprise, I found that I loved being in the classroom. Eventually, teaching my own classes but still intent on continuing my museum career that was already a decade-long prior to grad school, I came to understand the ways in which museums could function as classrooms.

The Neuberger Museum of Art was a classroom even before it was a museum. Although its construction was completed in 1972, it didn’t actually open as a museum until 1974. During those two years, as the only finished building on campus, it wound up being the center of most everything at the College for the next two years. It has continued along that path in various iterations over the last fifty years, working with students, faculty, and staff across campus to create great experiments and meaningful projects.  Read more here.

Today’s 50th anniversary thank-you goes to Neuberger Archivist Samantha Bogner and Curator of Education Diana Puglisi for their development of this story and its related stories. Sam’s work is generously supported by the Mellon Foundation; her efforts have been instrumental to the development of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Museum overall. Diana has been with the Museum for over seven years now and works with our schools programs, volunteers, and is also our social media strategist. All those great stories on Instagram, for example (you can find them here) — that’s Diana.

Tracy Fitzpatrick
Director, Neuberger Museum of Art


Orange square with a white border and large numbers 50 with small letters neu overlapping the top of the 5 and the word Years beneath


Watch for a new backstory every Wednesday and follow us on social media as we share stories about the Museum’s history, our evolution to the present day, and look ahead to our exciting future. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and “NEU 50 Years” updates on our anniversary webpage.