26 July 2010

The Perks of Working at AIC

So, I'm not sure if it has been quite stressed enough - but I LOVE THIS JOB. In addition to seeing amazing works of art all day, every day - having a back stage pass to the museum is almost worth more than the art itself, metaphorically speaking that is...

Over the course of the last four weeks, we have had regularly scheduled museum practices seminars in which different departments have come to us, as well as welcomed us into their spaces letting us quite honestly pick their brains on the ins, outs, ups, and downs of working at this institution. So far we have met with
  • Mark Pascale, curator of Prints and Drawings, 
  • Bob Eskridge, Executive Director of Museum Education
  • Public Affairs and Marketing
  • Development
  • The Teens and Library Program
  • Kate Bussard and Liz Siegel, curators of Photography
  • Conservation
and that's only the beginning - we have yet to meet with Contemporary Art, Security, Art Packing, and the director of the museum Jim Cuno himself!!! In case you can't tell - I really, really, really like the Museum Practices Seminars. Don't get me wrong, touring has been an absolute blast, so has the research, but understanding how the museum functions is completely fascinating.

Some highlights of our meetings have included:
- Telling PR/Marketing about our twitter and having them in return give our twitter unbelievable press.
- Seeing some of the amazing creative work done by the high school interns through the program After School Matters.
- Going into the refrigerated rooms in photography with the curators (I SAW A BOX OF CINDY SHERMAN'S AND ALMOST CRIED) - they store the black and white photographs at about 60 degrees fahrenheit, and the color photographs at 40.
- Jen receiving a copy of the book published from the Victorian Photocollage Exhibition, because she loved it and Liz Siegel curated it.
- Having Mark Pascale pull out two different editions of rare Toulouse Lautrec posters, a Degas pastel drawing, Bruce Nauman color screenprints, a Charles Ray marker drawing, a Miro print - and we have been invited to come back and have prints pulled out for us (I know I want to see some Warhol!!).
Toulouse-Lautrec, Aristide Bruant in His Cabaret, 1893
Edgar Degas, Landscape with Smokestacks, 1890
Bruce Nauman, Study for Holograms, 1970
Charles Ray, Untitled, 2003

- Getting a private walk/talk from Mark Pascale at the See America First Exhibition.
- Seeing Manet's Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers both on the wall and up close and personal in restoration mode at Conservation.
Edouard Manet, Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers, 1865
- Seeing the lovely Chagall Windows being cleaned in preparation for their return to display this coming fall!! 
Marc Chagall, America Windows, 1977

- Getting several different scientific and historical private consultations on works being cleaned, restored, and prepared by preparators in Conservation.
    And we still haven't seen it all! We also had the opportunity to attend a Town Hall meeting in the Fullerton Auditorium, which was totally and completely AWESOME. Basically, representatives from various departments present to other employees updates, ideas, new exhibitions, and marketing campaigns. It was really, really, really cool.

    What I'm trying to say is - the behind the scenes aspects of AIC are just as fascinating and interesting at the works in the galleries. Learning day by day all that goes into the functionality of the museum is one of the major perks of interning here, and for that I and the other interns are completely grateful! 

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