Academic Interns

  • Abreihona Lenihan working with artist Humaria Abid

     

    Curatorial Practice in a Non-Profit Arts Organization

    Abreihona Lenihan, Museum Studies Intern at Contemporary Craft - Spring 2021

    I was ecstatic to learn about the curatorial internship at Contemporary Craft (CC) as I have been eager to both learn and gain more insight into the role of a curator. Shadowing Kate Lydon, Director of Exhibitions, I helped engage the public in the creative experience through craft-based artistic practices. Although I worked remotely for the majority of the internship, I contributed to multiple projects. For WOV ART: Celebrating 40 Creative Years at Contemporary Craft’s Satellite Gallery at BNY Mellon (March 12-July 25, 2021), I took on curatorial, installation, and marketing responsibilities, while for the Searching for Home by Humaria Abid (April 9-August 21, 2021) my focus was on public programs, partnerships, and registration. I also contributed to the development of the Food Justice: Growing a Healthier Community through Art exhibit (September 11, 2021 - March 20, 2022), participating in preliminary program meetings for this upcoming initiative.

    Far from a traditional museum, this nonprofit art organization is one of the few visual arts organizations in the US dedicated exclusively to contemporary craft, consistently presenting works by nationally and internationally respected artists. The five-month internship at Contemporary Craft provided an in-depth introduction to what curatorial practice entails, including public program development, archival research, and gallery installation. In the remote context, I contributed to project meetings on Zoom, created exhibition checklists, and assisted with exhibition loan agreements. I quickly learned that this kind of position requires someone who is dedicated, hardworking, and passionate about art history.

    While the sheer range of tasks involved in curatorial practice was intimidating at first, my work at Contemporary Craft allowed me to enjoy the varied nature of the work, ranging from collaborative contexts to individual research. I am very grateful to my advisor, Ms. Lydon for her time and continued support. In addition to this, I am grateful to have made important connections with community colleagues such as Sam Black (Director African American Program, Senator John Heinz History Center), Christine Bethea (President of Women of Visions), and Charlotte Ka (owner of MOKA Gallery in the Historic Hill District). As this semester comes to an end, I am thankful to have these experiences to guide me for future curatorial endeavors.

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
  • Birdseye View Of Pittsburgh (1947) by Adolf Arthur Dehn

     

    The Digital World Of Museums

    Museum Studies Intern at the University Art Gallery - Spring 2021

    I interned at the University of Pittsburgh’s Art Gallery (UAG) under the guidance of Dr. Sylvia Rhor Samaniego, the Director and Curator of the UAG. Currently, the University Art Gallery is working on multiple different aspects to improve and rework, such as redesigning the website. To assist with this, I have been helping to create “pods”, or different academic themes that will be featured on the newly developed website. Each pod will highlight a group of artworks from the UAG collection. This will provide academic categories for the viewers of the website to be able to more easily navigate the collection online and find artwork. Some of the pods I have helped with creating dealt with women, and the landscapes of both rural and urban Pittsburgh. With my fellow interns at the UAG, I was able to help give feedback and some of my own thoughts on the pods they also were working on. 

    I found the landscape to be particularly interesting to research and write about. For this topic, I selected 6 artworks depicting both rural and urban landscapes of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. The Pittsburgh landscape was particularly interesting to research and work on because each of the different locations offers a unique view into the history and evolution of the city and region of Western Pennsylvania. In each of the different locations, there are different and interesting stories told. This work allowed me to bring my own interest in history and apply it to my internship. 

    Another important part of my involvement with the University Art Gallery has been looking at how to expand accessibility and the use of social media platforms. The UAG has been looking at ways to make its physical space and the new website more accessible for all its visitors. I personally have found it very interesting to look at the aspects of accessibility and inclusivity. I have learned a lot of new aspects of creating information on posts for social media. I have learned how to add accessibility using language for alt text and descriptions of works of visual art. Also, we had discussed and made decisions on many different aspects of how to use social media as a tool for museum outreach. We have discussed the museum's responses on social media and facing the public about different social and political events happening in the United States. This internship has shown me how to view museums in a wider context of the cultural sector and allowed me to consider how museums have an impact on the world around them.

    I have been able to see firsthand the decisions that the UAG makes and the ways in which the museum sector operates and works. A large part of my internship has been about connecting the collection and the UAG with social media and the students at Pitt. I have had a lot of amazing experiences and am very thankful for those I have had during my internship. I have learned so much and had new exciting experiences. I have been able to tailor my internship towards encompassing my own interests, such as with the academic pods I worked on for the website. I am really excited to see how the University Art Gallery will continue to expand and redevelop its website, and its social media presence.

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
  • Black and white photograph of a young girl beginning to climb up a set of stairs with dramatic lighting

    Stair Climber, Los Angeles, California (1970) by Daniel D. Teoli, Jr. (UAG Collection)

     

    Engaging in Critique and Conversation with the UAG Collection

    Museum Studies Intern at the University Art Gallery (UAG) – Spring 2021

    “Don’t be afraid to be critical of our collection. What perspectives are we missing? What questions need to be raised?” This bold approach was beyond what I initially predicted I would be doing as an intern at the University Art Gallery – but I am so grateful for the conversations and insight it generated. My work consisted mainly of researching artworks, building understanding of historical context, analyzing artistic choices, and encapsulating all of it into easily digestible yet thought-provoking blurbs. With the guidance of Dr. Sylvia Rhor Samaniego, Director and Curator of the UAG, I approached this task within the unique framework posed above. I was also given the freedom to consider, what am I most interested in learning and writing about? What conversations do I think we should be having, based on the artworks in the collection? In what ways can the UAG respond to the current moment, navigating limitations imposed by a public health crisis and playing a part in nationwide social justice movements?

    At the start of the semester, my assignment was to research and brainstorm ideas about how we could introduce more aspects of the collection through social media, given that physical interaction with the UAG’s exhibition space was not possible. This soon transitioned into creating content that could work for both social media and the website. The goal was to create new ways for visitors to virtually navigate the works in the collection, namely through themed series of about six works each that would shed light on underappreciated facets of the collection. I spent some time with my fellow interns examining how other university art museums organized their collections online, browsing our collection, and brainstorming potential themes. I eventually developed four series, exploring the visual representation of historic Pittsburgh through the Gimbel Collection, the objectification of women in art, the relationship between women and emotion, and international postwar abstraction in the Lowenthal Collection. The two series about women were particularly striking for me to work on; I was able to directly bring my own perspectives and questions I wanted to ask to the table. It was so powerful to be given the chance to provoke these important conversations through my writing.

    In addition to doing background research and writing captions for each artwork, I spent some time learning about accessibility strategies and applying them to my work, mainly through writing alt text and image descriptions. We also had an engaging discussion during one intern meeting about ways in which the UAG, along with other museums and galleries, can improve accessibility in web design, social media, and public programming. As the semester continued, and I slowly put all the components of each series together, I was very grateful to have assistance from Brooke Wyatt, a graduate student in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Working with her, as well as with the other interns, reminded me of the value of external perspectives for collaboration and revision.

    Overall, this internship felt to me like ascending a second set of stairs into the realm of art museums and art history. The first was a course I took in the fall, during which I helped develop an exhibition for the UAG. Prior to that, my knowledge came only from occasional visits to art museums whenever I visited a new city. But it has been so much fun discovering this new world. That is why I chose the image above. To me, this photograph from our collection (and included in one of the series I developed) symbolizes the beginning of a journey. It depicts the joy and drama of a new venture, the beauty of open-endedness – feelings I know very well from my exploration of the museum world thus far. Continuing forward, I am excited to keep exploring, whether professionally within this realm, or outside using the research and writing skills I have honed during this time. Either way, this internship has been a wonderful and educational experience.

    Categories: 
  •  

    Discovering the Greer Lankton Archive

    Museum Studies Intern at the Mattress Factory - Spring 2021

    I was not sure what to expect when I began my internship at the Mattress Factory in the Greer Lankton Digitization Project in February of 2021. Beginning an internship remotely was daunting but has in turn aided me in developing a uniquely personal relationship not only to the work but to the artist. Greer Lankton (1958- 1996) was an ethereal artist and person, popularly known for her dolls whose individual personalities were extensions of Lankton’s exploration into her own personhood and identity.

    My internship at the archives granted me in-depth access to the Greer Lankton collection. During the semester I worked primarily with the digitized photographs using Adobe Bridge software to log metadata information into the museum database, creating posts for the Mattress Factory’s social media, as well as researching religious iconography in the collection which I will be continuing in a summer fellowship. The photographs I worked with not only documented Lankton’s life through photos of her and her community, but provided a fascinating look into her creative process. In a folder of contact sheets such as the image above, a selection of photographs had borders drawn on by Lankton, displaying this process of selection as part of the act of creation. Working with the materials in this degree, I essentially was given the privilege of watching Lankton work, observing the artistic decision-making that was behind some of her most well-known pieces. Although she has passed, her selectivity and artistic process is embedded in the archive, and hopefully when the entire collection is digitized and accessible, viewers will too have that understanding of Lankton’s creative authorship.

    It is a peculiar situation to be essentially rifling through someone’s life by working in the archives, and it has been an absolute honor to find in Lankton not only an inspiring artist, but a confidant and a friend. Lankton has been a constant in my life since February and despite never having met her, she has led me to discovering new ways to look at my own self and the world around me. Lankton continues to be a guiding light in my work and my life, and I am ecstatic to be able to continue these discoveries in a summer fellowship.

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
  • University of Pittsburgh's Varsity Walk

    University of Pittsburgh's Varsity Walk is where the upcoming outdoor exhibition, "Black Lives in Focus", will be held.

     

    A Commitment to Honoring and Celebrating Black Life

    Museum Studies Intern at the University Art Gallery - Spring 2021

    Last summer, we all had a lot of time to watch Black Lives Matter protests and the various positive and negative responses to them. I believe we all should look within ourselves and question what the BLM movement means to us, and how we can move forward towards gaining true equality in this country. With all of these feelings of anger and helplessness swirling inside during quarantine as I watched the events unfold from home, I was elated when I was offered a position to intern under Dr. Sylvia Rhor in the University Art Gallery to work on the upcoming exhibition, Black Lives in Focus.

    Originally, the show was intended to be a vigil to honor the Black lives lost to police brutality. The idea was proposed by the University under the direction of our Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement, Dr. Kathy Humphrey, inspired by Lest We Forget (an outdoor exhibition which honored Holocaust survivors). Dr. Humphrey formed a large planning committee comprised of Pitt staff, faculty, and community members to shape the project, and named Dr. Bria Walker, Assistant Professor of Theatre Pedagogy, and Dr. Sylvia Rhor as lead co-organizers for the project. After many planning meetings, the project transformed from a single vigil to a large-scale initiative which includes the outdoor exhibition, multi-media visual artworks, text pieces, a performance, and opening ceremony to be held at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Together, all of these components are meant to honor the BLM movement and urge us to consider how systemic racism within our country affects our daily lives. In addition, this initiative was meant to highlight Pitt’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to address the needs of the University’s Black students, staff and community – who have often felt unseen or unheard on campus. The idea for the exhibition developed even further once the Visual Arts Selection Committee began meeting and discussing the broader implications of just one show attempting to embody the totality of the Black experience within our personal, and national communities.

    To date, my work has focused on the foundational aspects of the Visual Arts Selection Committee, of which I am a member. The Committee, made up of eight Black Pitt faculty, student, and two community members (curators), had the honor of deciding which works will be shown as part of the visual arts section of the exhibition. The committee carefully reviewed the many submissions received from an open call to artists and community. In the beginning of my internship, my work consisted of making word documents containing the submissions of each artist (with the help of Mari Carmen Barrios), making a Power Point presentation with the submissions and tombstone information of each submission, listing my favorite and least favorite submissions for the exhibition, and providing a rationale for my selection based on the submission call criteria. I have worked closely with my fellow Committee members to select which works we feel truly represent the essence of Black life in America today. Over the course of our selection, we realized the original intent of only having just one show no longer fit our vision, and the stress of just honoring lives lost seemed inadequate and a one-sided view of Black life. We wished to honor the Black experience, and to do that we need not only to focus on issues surrounding the BLM movement, but the bigger picture of systemic racism as well as the positives to Black life, which certainly cannot be completed in just one exhibition. For this exhibition, we selected 20 works that highlight a range of Black experiences that will be reproduced on the lawn of the Cathedral in September 2021. We also proposed that this exhibition be seen as the first of other exhibitions – both indoor and outdoor – that explore Black life.

    Overall, I am grateful to be a part of a majority Black Committee for this exhibition. Throughout my entire career as a student at Pitt, I have had only two Black professors (both male), which is frustrating to me because Pitt has emphatically preached diversity and inclusion without significant follow through time and time again. This Committee feels like a breath of fresh air because there is a mix of queer and straight Black women, men, and non-binary folks of different ages working together which brings a more holistic view of the Black experience for the exhibition. There are many facets to Black life within America today, and with the diversity of our Committee and the magnificent submissions of the artists in the show, we have the great opportunity of beginning an open and honest dialogue within our community. As a result of our Committee’s meetings, Pitt and the UAG are broadening our discussion of Black life in our personal and national communities to a series of Black Lives in Focus exhibitions, and to other areas on campus, most notably with incorporation into the University’s curriculum.

    I could not be prouder of the work we have all done and how far the show has come in such a short time. I am very grateful for my experience during this internship, and I am so excited to take what I have learned and apply these lessons later on in my career working on decolonization practices within exhibition settings.

    Categories: 
    • Identity
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • UAG
  •  

    Redesign and Revitalization in Weirton, West Virginia

    Museum Studies Intern at Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center – Spring 2021

    This semester I worked as an intern at the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center. As a student studying remotely and not living at the University of Pittsburgh campus, it was really rewarding to be able to physically go to the Weirton Museum and work hands-on to redesign an exhibition space along with Weirton Area Museum director, Savannah Schroll Guz. Because of the nature of smaller museums, I had the freedom to choose a project I was passionate about - to create a new exhibition exploring Weirton during the Colonial period.

    A challenge we faced was finding information about this period of Weirton’s history, at the time that the town was called Holliday’s Cove. Most of the museum is focused on the early to mid-twentieth century when the Weirton Steel Mill gave this city its identity as a working-class community with a thriving industry. Despite the mill's closure, many members of the community still remember that era where they or their loved ones were employed by Weirton Steel. They come in droves to the museum searching for small steel plates that served as ID cards for their family members. Hundreds of these small plaques have been donated to the museum – each part of someone’s identity and on their person for decades.

    Although the closed mill was part of this community’s identity for years, what I found in Weirton was still a close-knit community who not only yearns for this museum because it tells the story of their town but also because it brings the town together which is even more important in this pandemic-fueled era of disconnectedness. For instance, I was present for an event where a local retired undercover police officer came to speak at the museum. Crowds of people came to hear the about the officer's life. We all laughed together at the funny parts of his stories and sighed at the disheartening and tragic moments. During the breaks I was struck by the way it seemed everyone knew each other as they said hello to one another and made small talk. Virtually, the museum is making a community, too. Each week, Savannah and I would film ourselves updating the public about our progress in the exhibition space, and it was really encouraging to see the likes and comments from community members who were excited to see what we were doing.

    Overall, I am so grateful I was an intern at the Weirton Area Museum because I see in its future it being a catalyst for massive community revitalization. This museum is going to make its mark as part of Weirton’s post-steel identity. There is so much history here just waiting to be discovered, and I am glad I got to uncover and show a little portion of it in our redesign.

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
  •  

    Exploring museums online, a deep dive into online exhibitions

    Meg Wolfe 
    Museum Studies Intern at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Spring 2021

    During the 2021 spring semester, I interned at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s section of Anthropology and Archaeology. Due to the pandemic, I worked remotely and exclusively used the internet to carry out my project. I was tasked with creating a database that evaluated online exhibitions. This database will be used to help design the museum’s online exhibitions, primarily focusing on an ancient Egyptian exhibition for the Carnegie’s new project called From Egypt to Pittsburgh.

    I started this project by evaluating different online exhibitions, spanning from the British Museum to the University of California Berkeley. In order to carry out this process, I consulted my internship mentor Dr. Lisa Haney and with her guidance I created a rubric where I recorded and explained my evaluations. I used different criteria including user friendliness, quality of information, accessibility, suitability on multiple types of devices, and overall experience to examine the effective qualities of these online exhibitions. 

    Through my exploration of the virtual presence of various museum exhibitions, I saw the different ways information is presented online. There were cool and interesting features from these online exhibitions that when we go back inside museums could enhance the visitor’s experience. For example, my personal favorite was UC Berkeley’s interactive hieroglyphic translator on ancient sarcophaguses. On the other hand, there were also virtual strategies that presented the materials and collections in unappealing ways. The National Archaeological Museum of Naples presented their exhibition in the style of news articles. Which deemphasizes the visual aspects of the exhibition. 

    Through this internship I learned how to create clear examples for my evaluations by gathering evidence to explain my assessments.  I also learned the importance of clearly stating my reasoning in for subjective judgments. The pandemic has made it much more difficult for people to get to museums, but online exhibitions are a great way for museums to share their collections. As these institutions expand their audiences, it is important that the experiences of people with disabilities or in remote locations be taken into account. This is why I asked Dr. Haney if I could look in depth into what existing exhibitions were doing to make themselves accessible. The museum world is becoming more aware of the importance of including people of all abilities, and I was glad for the opportunity to share my knowledge of disability issues with museum professionals. 

    • A screenshot of the Pittsburgh Glass Center's Google Arts & Culture page for the Light in Transmission exhibition. The image shows a wide view of the gallery brightly lit by the neon artworks with white text stating the name of the exhibition over the photo.
    • An image of my supervisor, Valerie Bundy, standing before a neon artwork in the Pittsburgh Glass Center's gallery. There is also a camera and laptop in front of her in order to communicate with the class via Zoom. Another employee stands behind the camera to help zoom in and out.
    A screenshot of the Pittsburgh Glass Center's Google Arts & Culture page for the Light in Transmission exhibition. The image shows a wide view of the gallery brightly lit by the neon artworks with white text stating the name of the exhibition over the photo.

    The front page for Light in Transmission story I designed on the Pittsburgh Glass Center's Google Arts & Culture page.

     

    Lights in the Dark

    CJ Dawson

    Museum Studies Intern at the Pittsburgh Glass Center - Spring 2021

    As we recently passed the one year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, museum spaces and galleries have found their footing and embraced new ways to safely engage with visitors. Many turned to digital resources, using livestreams and Zoom panels to offer virtual art events at home. My internship at the Pittsburgh Glass Center allowed me to reflect on my own remote experiences from the 2020-2021 school year to inform my contributions to their digital presence and assist with virtual gallery experiences for the opening of their neon and plasma exhibition titled LIT: Light in Transmission.

    One of the largest projects I worked on throughout the semester was helping my supervisors Valerie Bundy and Paige Ilkhanipour translate artworks and exhibition narratives to the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s forthcoming Google Arts & Culture page. While I wasn’t familiar with Google’s digital architecture on the curator’s end, I recalled what virtual strategies worked best for me as a student and digital wanderer. I used this knowledge to guide how I arranged photographs and selected information for their stories on the Google Arts & Culture platform. It was an exciting process to be a part of, and building a relationship between the in-gallery Light in Transmission exhibition and its online counterpart was especially transformative. I enjoyed witnessing the unique experiences each realm could offer. While the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s gallery allows viewers to physically encounter the artworks and their characteristic neon glows, the digital space provides deeper insight to the artists’ processes and encourages further engagement with their works at the click of a button.

    Despite the unfortunate but necessary restrictions on in-person activities at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, the affordances of virtual spaces opened up new avenues to engage with visitors of all ages. I created two Tiktoks for their new profile on the popular app by manipulating the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s high-quality footage as well as recording my own videos of the brightly lit artworks to capture viewers’ attention. I was also able to assist one of my supervisors, Valerie Bundy, with a middle school class’ virtual field trip to the Light in Transmission exhibition. This opportunity allowed me to witness how educators have adapted to current circumstances in order to continue to foster curiosity and creativity among students in inclusive ways. Whether through Zoom or Google Arts & Culture or Tiktok, my time at the Pittsburgh Glass Center was spent participating in ways their team has been sharing (neon) light in an otherwise dark historical moment.

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
  •  

    Soaring Sky High in Ancient Egypt

    Museum Studies Intern at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Spring 2021

    The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has a wide array of departments. Over the course of my internship, I provided research for the development of the exhibition Egypt on the Nile in the Egyptology department. This exhibition was slated to have virtual lectures, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, plans were altered. The research remained crucial, so I continued to assist in researching the three major areas of this exhibition: birds in ancient Egypt, Egyptian blue, and the Dahshur funerary boats of Senwosret III. I found the topic of birds in ancient Egypt to be personally of most interest. I was surprised at the many sources explaining the specific significance of owls, geese, hawks, and vultures.

    Through my historical investigation, I found that birds are found in a variety of areas in Egyptian culture, including religion and everyday survival. Located near the Nile, wildlife could be easily spotted and used as a means for survival. Geese and ducks were often hunted and eaten by Egyptians along the Nile River. These birds were not only used as a source of food, but every part of the bird was used including eggs, bones, ligaments and all. Birds were mummified and offered to the deceased for means of survival in the afterlife. Birds were a food source, widely used icon, and also could be found in practices and beliefs surrounding the spiritual afterlife.

    My historical exploration revealed that many different Egyptian deities are illustrated as birds. Some qualities of birds were associated with the attribute of kingship. Birds of prey are strong, fast, have excellent eyesight, and, of course, fly. The god Horus, represented as a falcon or a human with a falcon head, was a sun god as well as the Egyptian god of kingship, representing the living king of Egypt. If you would like to know more about Horus and the importance of his connection to the falcon and kingship visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Blog. Horus was not the only deity that was personified by a bird, the goddesses Nekhbet and Mut were linked to vultures. Neith, the war goddess of wisdom and the cosmos, was commonly associated with the Greek goddess Athena, whose sacred bird was a little owl. Birds were used as a means to personify deities because it was believed that flight represented soaring between the afterlife and Earth placing birds physically closer to their gods.

    During the duration of this internship, my continued research revealed a great deal about the complexities of civilization in ancient Egypt. I have always been intrigued with ancient Egyptian civilization and my internship has only made my interest grow. If you are interested in learning more about ancient Egypt visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to see the extraordinary exhibits developed by the Egyptology department!

     

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
  • Quo Vadis guide Connor Mallon in 17th-century Highland Dress during the 2019 Open House event. Photograph by Reagan Harper.

     

    Filling in the Gaps

    Museum Studies Intern at Nationality Rooms Program, University of Pittsburgh - Spring 2021

    Every year, the Nationality Rooms Program hosts an Open House event in early December, allowing visitors to see the 31 Nationality Rooms and hear tours and holiday stories from Quo Vadis guides dressed in traditional clothing. And every year, the guide in the Scottish Room receives compliments on the kilt they wear. The only problem is, it’s not a kilt.

    As a guide for the Nationality Rooms, I’ve been asked about the clothing I wear for Open Houses by guests and have had nothing to tell them. “It’s a Welsh dress, it’s traditional… the hat is special,” is usually what visitors hear. For all of the beautiful pieces the program owns, relatively little is known about them and almost none of that knowledge is given to the guides. When we wear the traditional clothing, we embody a part of the museum that we know nothing about.

    In my internship, I wanted to research the garments that guides wear most often so they’ll have something to say when they’re asked about it. This has always been a neglected part of the program in my opinion, as the clothing is really only used once a year, maybe twice for some pieces that are brought out for other cultural festivals. My research has taken the form of a report discussing my findings about specific outfits as well as considerations to be aware of when wearing and presenting the outfits. The tasks of researching, organizing, cataloging, and at times creating clothing are daunting. It would be impossible to tackle it all in a single internship, so I want to thank Michael Walter, the Nationality Rooms Tour Coordinator and Quo Vadis Advisor, Annette Yauger, and Yasemin Sonnel for their previous and ongoing contributions to this project.

    My work has been focused on researching the history and meaning behind the clothing we have, as well as assessing how ‘traditional’ it is. At the suggestion of Michael Walter, I focused on the clothing from ten of the Nationality Rooms, one of which was the Scottish Room. Scottish ‘Highland Dress’ is famous, and many people (myself included) assume they know a bit about it. However, the kilt is a modern iteration, while the version of Highland Dress worn by our guide is intended to match the time period of the Scottish Room’s design – the seventeenth century. Thus, instead of a kilt, we have its direct precursor, the belted plaid. I hope that the work I have done this semester will be used in the future to help guides offer more thorough tours and to contribute to the larger project of conserving and preserving these pieces and the knowledge we have about them.

    Categories: 
    • Identity
    • Current Projects
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work

Pages