Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Successful Interns

Elizabeth Glass interned with curator Janie Welker during the Spring semester, and did everything from writing labels and formatting checklists to helping to install the Chester Cornett:Beyond the Narrow Sky exhibition and decorate the Museum for our annual fundraiser Art in Bloom. She has been chosen for a highly competitive internship at the The Cloisters Museum and Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

I am a senior at the University of Kentucky, majoring in Art History/Museum Studies, and working towards a minor in German. When I first started going to school here I was a marketing major, and quickly realized that I did not enjoy it at all, switching majors just last year.

Over winter break I started applying for summer 2015 internships. I applied to places like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Guggenheim in New York City, and the Seattle Art Museum. The one museum that I wanted to intern with more than anything was the Metropolitan Museum Art in New York. I had been told that it is extremely hard to get an internship there, and that most people have to apply more than once before they are offered an interview. I decided to try anyway, although I knew I had a slim chance of being granted an interview. To my astonishment I interviewed with the Senior Medieval Research Associate in March, and was offered an internship in the medieval department at the Cloisters soon after that.

The specific qualifications required for The Met’s medieval internship are working knowledge of the German language and graphic design skills. As a German-speaking graphic designer in Lexington, I was a perfect fit for the position. Before moving to Lexington to finish my undergrad degree I lived in New York City for five years just for fun, working various jobs and attending various schools, so I am sure my knowledge of the city did not hurt my chances either. After being offered the internship in April I booked a plane ticket, and headed to New York on May 28th.

At The Met I will mainly be working at the Cloisters giving tours focusing on reliquaries that are currently on display, as well as helping to maintain and expand the department’s collection database.  I am also hoping to have the opportunity to spend time with some of the works that are not on display to do some research of my own for next semester’s classes. I am most nervous (but very excited!) about giving tours at The Cloisters.  I have been training as a docent at The Art Museum at UK, but have not given any tours yet. This will be my first experience as a tour guide

Even though I am so excited to begin my internship this summer, I am more excited about the opportunities that will be available for me after my time at The Met is finished. I started out only applying so I could say that I did, not expecting anything to come of it, and ended up with the opportunity of a lifetime. This just goes to show that nothing bad can come from taking a chance and reaching for something you believe to be out of your reach, because you never know what will happen in the end!

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