Isabelle Job, October 2022
My internship at the Bates Museum of Art has been educational and informative and has opened my eyes to the ways in which museums operate. It has exceeded my expectations in regard to museum work, and the collection that the museum houses includes over 10,000 objects.
On my first day of the internship, I was able to enter the archives of the museum and learn how to handle artworks. I learned about the system of organization used at the museum, and each student including myself had the opportunity to handle a piece of ancient Mesomerican pottery. Handling such an ancient work of art dating back to 500 BCE was incredible. As an art history major, I have had the opportunity to learn about objects like these in the classroom while looking at them on a PowerPoint presentation, but being able to handle and touch the objects is a different experience.
While interning at the museum, I researched artists and wrote their descriptions, which will be used in a museum exhibition catalogue. The artists that I have had the pleasure of researching include Peggy Bacon, Mardsen Hartley, Xu Bing, Walker Evans, Robert Farber, and Beth Van Hoesen. Marsden Hartley, native to Lewiston, Maine as well as Peggy Bacon who resided in southern Maine, are among the local artists I have researched. Yet, international artists such as Xu Bing and Beth Van Hoesen have been fascinating to research.
I look forward to continuing my work at the internship and learning more about how a museum functions. I have had the opportunity to visit and experience their exhibition Pedagogy while working as an intern and as a part of two of my Art & Visual Culture classes. As a part of a research project in my Global History of Photography class with Professor Erin Nolan, we were given an array of photographs from the Bates Museum collection to write a visual analysis essay. In my other seminar class, Methods of Art & Visual Culture, I chose a work entitled Grand Odalisque by Lalla Essaydi. With references to Moroccan culture through a mysterious composition, this work is the basis of a research project I will be pursuing this semester.
I have only recently become involved with the Bates Museum of Art, but I am looking forward to continuing my work there this semester and in semesters to come.
Class of 2025