Frannie Gurzenda ’16, a student education assistant at the Museum, recently worked with co-director Frank Goodyear on the exhibition Dissent in 1960s America: The Photography of Ken Thompson. Frannie and Frank sifted through the Ken Thompson photograph archive, conducting new research on Thompson and his photographs to reveal an individual who intimately participated in and visually translated the social and political history of the 1960s. “A lot of [Thompson’s] images were un-researched,” Frannie explained during a recent conversation about her involvement with the exhibition. “Thompson’s body of work hasn’t been published or shown recently, so it was neat to pave the way.” As a photographer for the General Board of Global Ministries, a mission agency of the United Methodist Church, Thompson was active, documenting political protests and racial discrimination across the country. Although his work records the turmoil of the 1960s, Frannie observed that “a lot of the themes in the exhibition are still present in today’s society. In that way, the exhibition is very relevant to modern-day social issues.”
The Museum is proud to dedicate the Becker Gallery for student and faculty-curated exhibitions during the academic year, offering students a unique opportunity to gain curating experience. As a graduating senior majoring in art history and minoring in education, Frannie is interested in pursuing a career in museums. Frannie stated that her hands-on experience at the Museum as an Education Assistant and as the student curator of this exhibition has not only been enjoyable, but “also really helpful towards what I ultimately want to pursue after graduation.” You can visit Dissent in 1960s America: The Photography of Ken Thompson in the Becker Gallery until April 3, 2016.