Lucy Sherman and the Goodbody Collection

I have had the utmost pleasure of working as an intern with the Bates Museum of Art this Fall. My fellow intern, Sophie Cappello, and I were presented almost immediately with our task for the semester: the Barbara Morris Goodbody Collection. Donated generously by Barbara were over two hundred photographs represented by approximately forty-six artists. The subjects of these images varied widely, though it seemed that each work could be traced back to the state of Maine.

I was initially reluctant to take on this particular medium– especially early film photography– as I had not known much about it, nor how to handle a dark room. It was critical that I review Susan Sontag’s On Photography and John Berger’s About Looking, who clearly outline the developments that have been made in film photography in the last century, as well as the pervading social and cultural effect that photographs have had on the world. My research began in my Google Drive, where I stored resumes, catalog entries, and published journals that I found for each artist’s work.

Donna DeCesare (American), Esperanza’s World, 1994, Gelatin Silver Print, 12 X 17 3/4 in., Bates College Museum of Art, Gift of the Barbara Morris Goodbody Collection of Photographs, 2021.1.25

There were times where I was in direct communication with the artist, requesting they send me their CV– I was surely starstruck. These materials were necessary to write a thorough biography for the photographer, one that would eventually be published in the Goodbody Collection’s catalog! I cannot pick a favorite photographer from the list; I can only say that I really enjoyed looking at each and every artists’ distinctive style, their message, and technique. 

From art handling to creative writing, the Bates Museum Internship exposed me to the many, many aspects of curating an exhibition. I would love to continue my research with the museum in the following year!