Woody Internship – Taft Museum of Art – Blog 3

Hello again from the Taft Museum of Art. Another week has flown by, and I’ve been busy continuing my research, meeting with the leadership of different departments, and exploring Cincinnati.

As far as research goes, I’m still deep in the weeds of historical periodicals. I’ve been using the Readex database America’s Historical Newspapers to find articles about Nicholas Longworth and David Sinton, two of the owners of the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House. Considering Longworth was America’s most famous winemaker during his lifetime, I now know quite a bit more about nineteenth century winemaking than I did before. Regarding Sinton, I learned that he was a very charitable man and also that he made an ill-advised investment in something called the “Aerated Bread Company” in 1884. Aerating bread was apparently a food fad in the second half of the 1800s. Unfortunately for David Sinton, it didn’t seem to catch on in Cincinnati.

Outside of researching, I’ve been meeting with the leadership of the different teams at the Taft to understand the responsibilities of each department and how they function within the institution. So far, I’ve met with Lindsey NeCamp, the Vice President of Philanthropy and Deputy Director of External Affairs; Lynne Ambrosini, the Deputy Director and the Sallie Robinson Wadsworth Chief Curator; and Beth Siler, and Vice President of Philanthropy and Deputy Director of External Affairs. Today, I’m meeting again with the Chief Curator, Lynne. We’re doing a “back-of-house” tour to see the collections and storage facilities of the museum. I am very excited.

Additionally, the couple that funds the Woody Internship program, Carol and Robert Woody, visited the Taft a little over a week ago. We had lunch at the museum café and talked about the work I’ve been doing so far my internship. It was lovely to catch up with the Woodys and welcome them to the Taft this summer.

This is the second week in a row I've included ice cream in my blog posts. I really love ice cream, I don't know what else to say!

This is the second week in a row I’ve included ice cream in my blog posts. I love ice cream. I don’t know what else to say. 

Other than research and meetings, I’ve explored the Cincinnati area in my free time. Last week, I finally (finally!) went to Graeter’s, an iconic ice cream chain based in the city. It’s “French Pot ice cream,” and it really is as good as I was told it would be. I got the double chocolate — if it’s not chocolate, it’s not worth it — and it was delicious.

I also visited the American Sign Museum this weekend. I read about it on Atlas Obscura before I arrived in Cincinnati, and I’d been meaning to check it out. It’s a warehouse full of retired American signs, complete with a faux “Main Street” full of neon and old advertisements. I’m fascinated by roadside curiosities and vintage Americana, so this was right up my alley. Plus, it’s given me content for a week of Instagram posts (I have priorities). After going to the sign museum, I checked out Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield. It’s a shopping mall-sized international food store, recommended to me by my coworkers. As I texted my mom, “I don’t think my brain can process the size of the cheese selection here.” It was totally overwhelming, but I managed to keep my shopping cart to only a few items, which I consider to be an achievement. 

So far, all is well in Cincinnati. I’ll be back next week with more updates on my time as the Woody intern at the Taft!

Another sign from the American Sign Museum: one of the many iconic "Rock City" roadside advertisements from the mid-1900s. If you read American Gods, you know what I'm talking about,

Another sign from the American Sign Museum: one of the many iconic “Rock City” roadside advertisements from the mid-1900s. If you love American Gods like I do, you know what I’m talking about.

Jungle Jim's is truly wild: while in their seafood section, I looked up and realized there was a maritime tableau over my head. It's actually quite reminiscent of my coastal hometown.

Jungle Jim’s is truly wild: while in their seafood section, I looked up and realized there was a maritime tableau over my head. It’s actually quite reminiscent of my hometown in Delaware.

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