Grace Devine Midterm Reflection

Working as an exhibition intern with the Bates Museum of Art has been a highly rewarding, educational, and enjoyable experience. My internship has focused on researching the incredible collection of photographs kindly gifted to the museum by Barbara Morris Goodbody. In order to properly prepare for my research, I began this work learning about the history and artistic practice of photography with an array of essential reading, like Susan Sontag’s On Photography.

Readings like Sontag’s prepared me with the necessary context for the research I conducted on the list of artists I was assigned. Researching many of the incredible artists I have been focused on has felt like a form of creative detective work. Some of the artists are world-renowned with extensive resumes and others require exciting, creative deep dives into research and historical archives. Each artist and their photography has left me awe-struck and truly grateful for the opportunity to learn about the photographers’ and their photographs. Through this research, I am crafting entries about the artists, grounded in the artistic and historical contexts of the work.

I have learned so much from in-person meetings with the museum staff, including Anthony Shostak, Dan Mills, and Caitlin Patton, as well as my fellow interns. I have truly appreciated the opportunity to learn directly from these leaders in the museum field, mainly improving my ability to write cohesively and effectively about artwork. Being in the museum and a part of major installations, like Lesley Dill, Wilderness: Light Sizzles Around Me, has been so rewarding and has deepened my interest in museum studies. Interns attend incredible events with major artists, like Lesley Dill, and are involved in the discussions within these events as well as getting unique insight into their production.

This internship has fostered so much growth for me as a writer, a student of art history, and as a person with deep interest in museum studies. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program and am hopeful to continue this work in following semesters.