Woody Internship – Taft Museum of Art – Blog 5

This week, I’ve been thinking about the quote “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” You’ve probably heard that phrase before. Often, it’s credited to women such as Marilyn Monroe and Eleanor Roosevelt, pasted on photos of them, and shared on Facebook. It’s on coffee mugs and bumper stickers, Etsy jewelry and t-shirts. It’s everywhere, it’s usually misattributed, and it’s widely misunderstood.

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Fun at Winterthur, Week 7!

Hello everyone, I’m back for week 7! I had a super busy weekend with my friend in town. We saw the fountain show at Longwood, took a tour right here at Winterthur, visited Nemours, walked along the Wilmington waterfront, had some UDairy ice cream, and spent all day Sunday in Philadelphia. It was so much fun to get to see her and to hang out for the weekend! As much as I love my time at Winterthur, this past weekend made me look forward to getting back to school with my friends. I started off my Monday morning in the textile study as usual. I don’t technically have moving privileges, but I’ve been trained on how to move objects and I do it sometimes when needed and supervised by curators. So, I got to move some textiles from the accessions room in the office wing of the museum to the textile lab in the research building which was cool (but also not as cool as it sounds: they were wrapped in tissue paper in a box that I held carefully). We worked in the textile conservation lab this morning since that was where our missing box from last week was found, so it was a nice change of pace. We marked a lot of objects for deaccession, so it felt productive! At lunch, some of the curators and I went to see a talk about decisions and ethics in furniture conservation (i.e. what do you replace? what should be recreated and what should be left as-is? how do you decide original intent?). It was really interesting, and the woman who gave the talk had worked at both the VMFA and Colonial Williamsburg. She featured a sofa from the VMFA in her talk, so I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m in Richmond. After the talk, I went back to work trying to date some of the textiles and ceramics we’re deaccessioning. I went through files in registration and books in the library trying to piece it together, which was fun (I love research!). I was feeling a little tired so I stopped by the basement for a coffee from our new coffee vending machine (!!!) to wake myself up for the end of the day.

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Harry Potter & The Getty Center

We had a busy few days this past weekend here at the Getty! I helped out with a cosmos-themed Ever Present event, part of our series featuring performance art, on Saturday, and this past Sunday, we hosted a talk on Harry Potter and the medieval bestiary. Public Programs put on both of these events as tie-ins to ongoing exhibitions: Ever Present with “The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts,” and Harry Potter with “Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World,” our current Special Exhibition.

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Fun at Winterthur, Week 6!

Hello again, I’m back for week 6! I had a fun weekend. I did absolutely nothing on Saturday which was nice, but on Sunday I went with one of the assistant curators, Leigh, to the Gettysburg battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We met up early Sunday morning to drive two hours over (not long but I kept making wrong turns!). After passing some unintentionally amusing roadside attractions in rural Maryland and rural Pennsylvania, we arrived at the battlefield. We wandered the museum, saw the famous cyclorama, watched the Morgan Freeman-narrated film, and visited the gift shop before deciding to drive around the battlefield a bit. I wanted to see the Virginia Memorial because of my interest in Confederate monuments and memorials. I was a bit underwhelmed. While the memorial itself was large and ornate (erected 1917!!), there was no inscription. For me, the fascinating part is the intersection of the physical motifs and the motifs embedded within the inscription. South Carolina’s proved to be more exciting. Erected in 1963, it had a suitably flowery inscription. Leigh, from New York/Massachusetts, looked at it and declared, “that’s a very nice way of saying ‘we lost’”. Fair enough! We visited Little Roundtop, Big Roundtop, and other major battlefield landmarks before calling it a day and driving back towards a sight we’d seen earlier in the day, the Hampton National Historic Site.

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Woody Internship: Colonial Williamsburg Week 5

In my fifth week with Colonial Williamsburg, I began working on an extensive project to catalog objects that were apart of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Collection that had been sold to her by Edith Halpert. Edith Halpert was a leading women in the early collecting of folk and modern art in the United States. She started her own gallery called “The Downtown Gallery” in 1926 in New York City. Halpert sold many objects to Mrs. Rockefeller, who in turn, gave them to Colonial Williamsburg. I went through the files of about two hundred objects and added Halpert as the known dealer. Now it is easier to know exactly which objects passed through Halpert on to Mrs. Rockefeller with just one search. Even though this task was different from my previous research jobs, it gave me a sense of what others things curators do besides the research aspect of the job. It was also interesting to learn about an important women in the world of collecting that I had never heard of before!