Resources for university faculty and area teachers

We like to think of the museum as one of the largest classrooms on campus, and we are eager to assist you as a faculty member in discovering the many ways that you might use JCSM’s programs, exhibitions, and collections as part of your curriculum. Your interactions with JCSM can take many forms including class tours, assignment collaboration, and direct engagement with the object.

Using the collections for instruction and research

Our collection of 2,000 artworks provide unique learning experiences and creative prospects that could expand your classroom experience, across a variety of disciplines. With strengths in American modernism including examples of social realism; works on paper reflecting a diverse depictions of the south, including themes of race, religion and class; a collection of 20th century Mexican art; contemporary art and photography that ranges from Andy Warhol to Diane Arbus; a selection of bronzes from Tibet, historical European pieces that range from the 15th to 19th century; and, our Audubon prints and that of other artists who followed or preceeded Audubon in his study of science and nature. We encourage you to take the time to browse the collections page and online database for more information.

If you find works of art in the museum’s permanent collection that you think might be useful in your teaching you can request an appointment for the piece(s) to be made available for study at the museum with a small group of students. This opportunity for direct examination of a work of art which is available to all areas of study enables a unique learning experience as well as inspires understanding of different cultures throughout history.

Tours and self-guided resources

Classes or groups may tour the museum during all hours of operation. Groups of 10 or more should make an appointment to ensure a successful experience and avoid conflicts with other touring classes. Docent led tours of current exhibitions or specific topics can also be arranged for larger groups of 10. We ask that you schedule these tours two weeks in advance. Email our education department with requested dates.

In lieu of a tour, the museum provides self-guided resources, such as gallery guides, expanded didactic labels, and additional content accessed through smart devices. Non-flash photography is permitted in galleries unless otherwise noted so that students may document their visit. In the case of any exhibition-related restrictions, museum signage indicating as such is posted throughout the galleries.

Presentations and Museum Programs

We can arrange guided tours and special presentations by JCSM curators and staff to enhance your classroom discussion across a variety of disciplines. Here are some examples of program collaborations with university faculty. With advance planning, JCSM is happy to discuss opportunities to collaborate on programming. If you are interested in doing so, contact Scott Bishop at 334-844-7014.


Film@JCSM stands for “Fostering Interdisciplinary Learning through Movies.” This museum program involves movie screenings with a thematic connection to an exhibition on view. Both Auburn faculty and invited scholars introduce the film and moderate discussion afterwards.

Third Thursday Poetry Series

JCSM partners with community members and faculty from the Department of English on the third Thursday of each month for poetry readings by students, faculty, and invited poets. The series is the only monthly poetry offering in the Auburn-Opelika area.

Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers was developed to connect audiences with new, independent films that they normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to watch. Directors are invited for screenings and audience discussions about their work and the filmmaking process, creating a a deeper, richer and more engaging film experience for audiences and for the artists. Students in the School of Journalism regularly attend screenings as a part of their coursework.

The Art of Vanishing

In commemoration of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, JCSM presented an exhibition devoted to the passenger pigeon, to other bird species that have vanished forever, and to the poignant lessons of loss pointed out by the power of art. The Auburn University Museum of Natural History and Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences and Mathematics generously partnered with JCSM for this collaborative exhibition. Museum programming included a faculty panel, documentary screenings, and hands-on art activity for youth, and a lecture by Joel Greenberg of Project Passenger Pigeon.

Dance inspired by sculpture

Students of College of Liberal Arts associate professor Adrienne Wilson perform movement inspired by sculpture presented on the grounds and in the galleries.

"Students respect the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers because they are accomplished in their field. When students can hear that even the most accomplished have to work at their craft, it really makes the students work harder and realize that filmmaking is a process."

Kevin Smith, associate professor, Media Studies, School of Communication and Journalism, Auburn University