My first week at the Getty

 

Hello!

I’m Helen and I’m a rising senior at St Andrews studying Art History with Classical Studies. I’ve just completed my semester abroad at W&M and I’m undertaking a Woody Museum Studies internship at the Getty Centre in LA.

I’m working in the events department alongside several events professionals, with Danielle as my supervisor. Having gotten my first week at the Getty under my belt I am starting to feel confident navigating my way around the site- which is huge! It is definitely intimidating at first in terms of sheer size and the range of things that are going on. The Getty Centre comprises the museum, the research institute, the conservation institute and the trust. The events team is part of the facilities department of the trust. With such a multi-faceted organization there are obviously a lot of names and faces I have had to learn. This has been particularly important with the nature of the role; the events team interfaces and works with so many other departments to coordinate logistics, such as catering, security and AV (audio-visual). In my interview I mentioned hoping to pursue a career in the museum field but being unsure where to begin in terms of finding the right role/department I wanted to work in. I am only a week in but I have already met so many interesting people with varied responsibilities and tasks. I am sure this internship will be an incredible way for me to really understand the different roles that work together to ensure museums can be successful and thrive.

My walk to the office every morning!

My walk to the office every morning!

 

In terms of events, I can hardly believe how much I have experienced in the last few days. On my first day, I went with some of the team to the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for a museum events professionals round table. There were people from the Grammy Museum, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and the Autry Museum of the American West, among others. For two hours everyone discussed the challenges that they face in their jobs and exchanged ideas about how to resolve them. It’s remarkable how many people think a place that does not host weddings will make an exception for them. People were open and empathetic as others shared the particular issues their institutions face. It was probably the best introduction to the LA Museum world I could have asked for; I was able to get an insight into the current challenges museums are facing and also saw positive and sincere examples of networking. I also got to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time!

Museum Roundtable

view of the pool and the ocean

view of the pool and the ocean

 

 

Next up was Family Festival, which the Getty puts on a few times a year. This free public program complimented the current exhibitions Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe and The Lure of Italy: Artists’ Views. LA Opera performed some well-known 18th century works by the likes of Puccini and (my favourite) Mozart’s Queen of the Night Aria from the Magic Flute. There were flamenco dancers, Italian accessory crafting, plein air painting and much more. It sounds cliché, but it really was great to see children engaging with the museum site in a fun and dynamic way. And Celia Imrie came!!

 

view of the courtyard

view of the courtyard

 

the crowds gathered for our musical performance

the crowds gathered for our musical performance

 

This first week was definitely a case of hitting the ground running and trying to absorb as much information as possible. In this blog I hope to document the crazy variety in my day to day intern experience, my wider explorations of the museum departments here at the Getty and hopefully the wider LA arts scene also.

H x

The Sun sets on my first week at the Getty!

The sun setting on my first week at the Getty!

 

 

Comments

  1. Morag S Cameron says:

    What a wonderful first week.

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