With a network of galleries and outdoor sculptures, the Lehigh University Art Galleries is often described as a museum without walls. The LUAG offers advance knowledge, research and experiential learning for the Lehigh community and beyond. Director of the LUAG, William Crow, and his team have a passion for teaching through art beyond what's hanging on the walls. They believe that art can help us see and think about the world differently.
Art galleries and museums are natural teaching tools because they're places that really invite us to think about the world in different ways and to examine who we are. Lehigh has a collection of over 16,000 works of art from diverse time periods and cultures, everything from 19th century French paintings to contemporary Latin American photographs to incredible outdoor sculpture made in the mid 20th century.
So we're a network of galleries throughout Lehigh's campuses. We've often talked about them as a museum without walls.
I think an academic museum, a campus based museum like the Lehigh University Art galleries, has a unique role in that we work across all of the different academic departments and we work together with faculty and students to really think about, what does art help us to do? How does art help us think in different ways? How do we look to artists as inspiration for how we solve problems today? We're also really excited to be a gateway between the community and Lehigh University.
I think we have an opportunity to go deeper. Obviously, people who come to museums have their own individual life with the works of art that they see. But we have an opportunity to open up that experience for students. It's a very rarified experience to work with works of art one on one.
What's amazing about that is it gives opportunity for further research, for further exploration, for creating connections across disciplines that you wouldn't even think of.
Lehigh has such a fascinating history. In fact, the DNA of Lehigh is very much about being a place of makers from its beginnings with founder Asa Packer, who was a maker himself of canal boats and railroads and engineering. And so I think it's a natural place that Lehigh has a world class art collection that can serve as inspiration across all of the different disciplines.
I find art is very important to any disciplinary or major. What it does to you, it opens your horizon, it opens your creativity. And it makes you even connect more with your other disciplinaries.
Works of art help connect so many different people and areas and disciplines. And in fact, every day we learn more and more that the challenges that we all face today in the 21st century, these are challenges that are not going to be solved through a single lens or through a single discipline. So you have to bring together creative problem solving and critical thinking and understanding of diverse cultures. And experiences with great works of art help us do that. Museums are places that are not just about what they contain, but they are places about what's possible.