Object Laboratory

Public Art UHS and the University of Houston’s School of Art jointly run an Object Laboratory where emerging art historians, curators, museum professionals and others interested in visual and material culture learn best practices in object handling, recording, digitization and analysis. Housed at the UH School of Art, the Object Laboratory holds objects from Public Art UHS’ Charles and Katherine Fleetwood and Edward F. Hayne III collections of Pre-Columbian art, as well as additional university study collections. The Object Laboratory is equipped with cutting-edge technology providing students with hands-on experience in photogrammetry, 3-D scanning and related technology.

Through hands-on handling of objects, students from a variety of different disciplines receive specialized training in object handling, object-based learning, digitization and other museum protocols (onboarding objects, registration procedures, etc.). The Object Laboratory extends object-based co-curricular learning to the university campus and to the important Public Art UHS collection, allowing the collection to be an important part of the success of students enrolled in a variety of programs at the University of Houston.

The Object Laboratory is available by appointment only to university faculty and supervised students. For more information about and access to the Object Laboratory, please contact pauhs@uh.edu.


The Object Laboratory is now open!

On Friday, April 8th, 2022, the Object Laboratory held its inaugural workshop with a cohort of UH Students led by Dr. Julia Guernsey, Professor of Art History, University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Rex Koontz, Professor of Art History, University of Houston.

Under the guidance of Dr. Koontz, students used direct observation, analysis, and discussion to speculate on the use and significance of a selection of Chupícuaro (Ancient Mexico, c. 400 BCE-200 CE) ceramic figurines. Dr. Guernsey then led a discussion regarding her work on a similar corpus of figurines as outlined in her recent publication Human Figuration and Fragmentation in Preclassic Mesoamerica: From Figurines to Sculpture (Cambridge University Press, 2020).