Senior Bucket List: The Perlman Teaching Museum 

by Jennifer Kwon and Charlotte Duong

Historically, Carleton has been a diverse campus with a wide range of activities and events for both students and the Northfield community. There are several traditions that every Carl ought to complete to get a full Carleton experience. But the list is so long that it’s impossible to get to all of them.

To make it easier for Carls to choose, two seniors—Charlotte Duong and Jennifer Kwon—have compiled a Senior Bucket List of activities that students should complete before graduation. First up: Visit the Perlman Teaching Museum.

The Perlman Teaching Museum is located in the Weitz Center for Creativity. (Photo by Charlotte Duong)

Camille Sanchez ‘17 (Cinema and Media Studies) remembers her first time visiting the Perlman.

Her dad came to campus spring of her freshman year, so Sanchez took him to the museum inside the Weitz Center for Creativity to show off Carleton. Her dad enjoyed the Perlman because of how varied the art was.

Since then, Sanchez has been visiting the museum each term to see new exhibits or simply appreciate amazing art so close by.

“I really like how diverse it is—different artifacts and completely different exhibitions,” Sanchez says. “The exhibit last spring had rocks and a huge video projection on the background. It was really cool because it used such different methods of art.”

Sanchez is not alone. Many seniors who have discovered the museum usually come back for other exhibits. Suhail Thandi ‘17 (Cinema and Media Studies/Political Science/IR) is a regular because “there’s so much stuff.”

“There are new and exciting exhibits all the time, and it’s free,” he says. “It’s just a fun place to be because it’s so quiet.”

According to the museum’s website, the Perlman—as a teaching museum—values the function that art plays in raising questions about life. To raise multiple questions, the museum changes its exhibition every school term.

“MICHI” displays the work of Japanese and Japanese-American artists. (Photo by Charlotte Duong)

This fall’s exhibits are “MICHI—Distinctive Paths, Shared Affinity,” and “Independence of Thought: An Unfolding Story, 1866-2016.” MICHI displays sixteen Japanese and Japanese-American ceramic artists who are all living and working in the United States. By introducing contemporary ceramics to new audiences, the exhibit shows the individual artistic paths converging in a common link of Japan.

“Independent of Thought” celebrates the 150th year of Carleton’s history. (Photo by Charlotte Duong)

“Independent of Thought” celebrates the 150th year of Carleton’s history through five main eras, with a focus on how Carleton students lived, grew, and expressed themselves throughout time. It showcases objects, photographs, texts, and voices from each era. The exhibit was curated by members of visiting professor Gary Vikan’s spring 2016 “The Art of Exhibitions” class.

Although the museum is a popular attraction to many members of the Northfield community, a significant number of seniors still haven’t been inside. The Weitz is located only two blocks from the main part of campus but can easily be missed by students who don’t see it every day while rushing to class.

But students who have walked into the museum enjoy coming back for more. Sonia Lee ‘18 (Studio Art/Sociology/Anthropology) already had the Perlman checked off her list during freshman year.

“I had a class in Weitz. I knew it was here, but I never noticed it,” she says. “The museum was so quiet and nobody was there, so I enjoyed the quietness and being able to immerse myself in the artwork. I come at least once a term now.”

The Perlman Teaching Museum is located in the Weitz Center for Creativity. (Photo by Charlotte Duong)

The Perlman Teaching Museum is open Monday to Sunday during the academic year, and museum hours vary each day. Mon-Wed: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thu-Fri: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sat-Sun: noon to 4 p.m.


This article is published on the Carleton Now website.