This on-going project grew out of “The West Encounters the Rest,” an art history class I taught at Bucknell University in the fall semester of 2015. As a final project the students in this class did research on selected Asian objects collected by Edith Fetherston. They then collaborated on creating a digital tour of Packwood House that focuses on Asian decorative arts and Fetherson’s motives for acquiring them. Three students from this class – Nicole Adams, Rebecca Reeve, and Ariel Senackerib – wanted to do more research on the collections at Packwood House so I encouraged them to apply for summer funding. Nicole and Ariel received funding from the Bucknell Program for Undergraduate Research and a Mellon Summer Research Grant supported Rebecca’s project. Ariel completed a digital catalogue with photographs and descriptions of Edith Fetherston’s paintings. Nicole created a digital exhibition about Edith Fetherston’s interest in gardening and how this interest reflects gender expectations within the broader context of the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. Rebecca started the arduous and lengthy process of digitizing the museum's archives. She catalogued and digitized the postcards received by the Fethersons. Throughout the summer we received professional assistance from Jennifer Snyder, the manager at Packwood House, Courtney Paddick in Bertrand Library, and Carrie Johnston, Debra Balducci, and Diane Jakacki in Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship. We are grateful for their assistance.
There is still much more work to be done at Packwood House. I hope to have more students continue the fine work started by Rebecca, Ariel and Nicole.
- Janice Mann