Educational Programs for Faculty

We invite you to collaborate with us to integrate Haggerty Museum collections, exhibitions and programs into the Marquette curriculum.

image of an educator

Teach at the Haggerty

The Haggerty's curator for academic engagement assists faculty with the development of curriculum-structured museum sessions. Classes can be tailored to the needs of professors from all disciplines and can focus on current exhibitions or works from the museum's permanent collection.

For example, recent Spanish classes have learned about the life and art of Salvador Dalí, Picasso and other Spanish artists. History students have been able to view works by the 16th-century master Albrecht Durer, as well as works by noted German Expressionist artists, and Theology students have studied Old Testament Scripture through the prints of Marc Chagall.


The Haggerty can serve as an extension of your classroom, with sessions taking place in the galleries. Visit our exhibitions page to learn more about what is currently on view. For ideas, click here to view sample class assignments or worksheets developed by your colleagues in conjunction with past exhibitions and the permanent collection.

  • You can schedule time to preview exhibitions and discuss your curricular goals.
  • We can provide background information on current exhibitions.
  • You can schedule single or multiple class sessions.
  • You can lead the class on your own or with the Haggerty's curator for academic engagement or curator of exhibitions.

Permanent Collection

Works of art can be brought up from storage to provide support for your classes. You can use our electronic database to search the permanent collection by name of the artist, title of the work, nationality, object type and time frame. You can also use the document Looking at the Collection as a resource for more in-depth information about several highlights from the permanent collection (additional works will be added over time).

  • We provide access to objects in the collection that are currently not on view.
  • You can schedule time to preview the artwork in person and discuss your curricular goals.
  • We assist with the selection of artwork.
  • We can provide background materials on the artwork.
  • You can schedule single or multiple class sessions.
  • We assist with audio/visual equipment.
  • We are available to provide support in teaching with art.

To develop a class, please contact Lynne Shumow at or (414) 288-5915. Self-guided classes also need to be scheduled in advance.

Co-curate Exhibitions

The Haggerty Museum seeks proposals from Marquette faculty interested in developing innovative, collections-based exhibitions and projects that can be integrated into classroom curriculum. Past examples:

Guide for looking at art from the Haggerty collection

This guide will assist with ways to look at the Haggerty's collection.

Learning Activities

From the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Also check out the Nasher’s “How Do You Look?

The following ideas can be adapted to a wide range of course themes and critical issues:

Find and Seek

Students choose a work of art and write a short descriptive paragraph about it. They then exchange descriptions with a partner and must locate the other work in the gallery. When they find the correct work, they write their own response. Excellent for visual analysis, translating the visual to the verbal, and visual critique.

Label Talk 

Explore multiple viewpoints in a variety of ways and practice respectful discourse and dialogue.

  • Choose one work of art for all students to write short personal responses (250 words). After sharing, they comment on one other’s perspectives, discussing commonalities and differences in approaches.
  • One theme or concept is chosen and students are assigned to find a work of art they feel best expresses or elaborates on that topic. This is a good way to test their mastery of the concept and critical thinking skills by asking them to apply it in a different medium than typically used in class, i.e. textual analysis. Group discussion focuses on the variety of choices and possible differences in interpretation.
  • Students each choose one work of art and write multiple short responses from a variety of views or utilizing different methodologies through the course of the semester (i.e. descriptive/ekphrastic, aesthetic, historical, personal, narrative, feminist, Marxist, semiotic, etc.).

Token Response

Students are given cards with icons to signify a variety of responses to art or a particular theme (love/hate/confusion, agree/disagree) and are asked to place icons in front of works that elicit a response. Works that gain the most responses, or the greatest variety of responses, become the subjects of discussion as students explain their choices. Excellent to practice critical viewing skills and translating the visual into the verbal. Language courses: good for conversation and practicing the subjunctive.

What's your issue? 

Instructors identify issues explored in the course and choose corresponding artworks currently on display. Small groups are given an issue and relevant background material on the artwork. The students must discuss their issue in relation to the image or object and formulate a short presentation. Excellent for issues-based courses or intermediate language levels.

Caption it

Students identify works that illustrate key concepts from class (this is about looking and reacting, not finding a right answer). They write a headline and an image caption to explain the connection. Students present their captions in small groups and select one to present to the class. The class identifies the work and caption they feel best illustrates the concept. Excellent for testing conceptual understanding and application.

Consider the Context

Students choose an artwork and, relying on close visual examination, consider their personal response (how they feel about the work and why they think that is) and the relationships between the art and its setting (what other works are displayed nearby, what are the relationships between them?). After reading the object label or background information, they evaluate how the work relates to its time period, cultural movement or a critical issue. They share their responses with classmates. Helpful for exploring opinion versus fact, and applying critical concepts to visual material.

Treasure Hunt

Students hunt for works by following clues and a map. To get the next clue, they must answer questions about the works they locate. Excellent for developing viewing skills and cooperative efforts. Language application: developing vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing.

Foreign Language Activities 

The Haggerty Museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions offer many opportunities to strengthen foreign language skills. The activities listed above can all be utilized in this context. Below are additional ideas and examples made specifically with language courses in mind:

  • Label Translation: Students pick any work of art on display with a label and translate it. This exercise encourages close looking and increases vocabulary.
  • Creative Writing: Students select an artwork on display or in storage that will serve as the subject of a creative essay or final paper. The paper can be worked on throughout the semester and edited as new tenses and vocabulary are taught in class.
  • Vocabulary Building: Instructors provide students with vocabulary lists for specific artworks on display, which they then have to identify, OR students select a work of art and make their own vocabulary list and then discuss the image with the class using those words, OR students are given the vocabulary list for a particular artwork and then have to write a short description/paper/label using some or all of the words.
  • Translation of Art: Many images in the Haggerty Museum’s permanent collection contain foreign text. Students can translate the text and consider how it enhances the image’s meaning (or vice-versa).
  • Description/Imagination: Students work with one image in the galleries or storage. With a partner, they write down a basic description of the work, including colors, forms, subject matter, etc. Afterward, they write down what they think the image is about. When each group has finished, they present their descriptions and thoughts to the class. A great way to develop close-looking skills, vocabulary, comfort in speaking to a partner and large group, and the use of subjunctive in order to express an idea or opinion.
  • Mini-presentations: In advance of the class visit, the instructor collaborates with academic program staff to create a list of works from the museum that relate to the course topic. The instructor presents the list to the students, who each select a work of art to research. For the museum visit, students give a mini-presentation to the class on their artwork. Excellent for developing writing and oral presentation skills, and for learning more about the target culture.