Ravensbrück: Week 3

The majority of my work this week focused on secondary sources. I read and took notes on Jack Morrison’s Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp, 1939-1945. Published in 2000, this is the first comprehensive book on the camp written in English. It is similar in content to Helm’s text which I read in my first week of research. Although Morrison references the Rabbits only sparsely through his piece, he does focus quite a bit on relationships and friendships between prisoners in the camp which I found particularly useful. One of his central arguments is that companionship among inmates could increase the chance of survival. Another asset of Morrison’s book that I found interesting was the contrast between images he provides throughout the book. The images can be separated into two categories: photos of the camp taken by Nazi officials to be used as propaganda, and drawings completed by prisoners. Images in the former group depict healthy women working in a pleasant environment and were displayed to visiting delegations to underscore the camp’s decent conditions. The whole of Morrison’s study emphasizes that the depictions in these photos were far from the reality in Ravensbrück. The latter group of images provide a valuable visual glimpse into a handful of prisoner’s thoughts and impressions.

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Week 6

This week I wanted to highlight the importance and difficulty of recording and translating the responses that were in Spanish. I feel like it is important to make sure all voices of multiple backgrounds are heard. If we focus research on a particular group, the population will not gain maximum benefits when trying to solve problems in an attempt to improve the conditions of health systems/programs/institutions.

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Resurgence

After a stretch of experimental stagnation, I was able to overcome my struggles and again began collecting usable data. My lab was able to order a new antibody that allowed for my cells to be more easily observed through microscopy which greatly helped me obtain new viable trials and collect more and better data. I also sharpened my lab techniques and slide preparation that allowed for better observations of my cells. This new resurgence in my experimentation has boosted my morale and has allowed me to further my individual experiment.

Meeting Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (among other things)

Hi again!

It is hard to believe that my time here at the Department of State is coming to close. Continuing with the general trend of my time here, tons of things have been constantly going on!

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Woody Internship: Colonial Williamsburg Week 6

Some of the projects that I worked on were objects that had been in the collection for a number of years, but I was looking to see if any more information could be found with the help of technology. One such project that I worked on was a portrait of Patrick Henry. We believed the portrait to be a copy of a miniature done by artist Lawrence Sully. After reading the portrait file, I found a reference to a book that documented portraits of famous Americans. An engraving of Patrick Henry was in the book along with information referencing the engraving as a copy of drawing which was a copy of the Sully miniature. In short, our portrait was a fourth generation copy and we still did not know the artist. The portrait was sold to Colonial Williamsburg by the daughter of Kentucky artist, Oliver Frazer. However, Frazer is not believed to be the artist of this portrait due to stylistic differences. Frazer had an uncle named Robert, who was a popular jeweler in the Lexington, Kentucky area. Colonial Williamsburg has a watch in the collection that contains a watch paper with R. Frazer’s advertisement in it. In conclusion, I believe that an artist possibly training under Oliver Frazer had access to the book containing the engraving at the University of Transylvania, saw the engraving and tried to replicate it. The exact artist may never be known, but this information brings us much closer to discovering the portraits origins. I was able to present all of this information as a research discovery at one of the curatorial accessions meetings.