Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reykjavík Art Museum


My name is Karen Pálsdóttir and im a junior General Fine Arts major. Over the summer of 2012 I was the only intern at the Reykjavík Art Museum. The Reykjavík Art Museum is a museum in Reykjavík, Iceland that has 3 different venues. Each venue is dedicated to one historically important Icelandic artist. Meaning each venue is named after the specific artist and has a big exhibition with that artists work up at all times. However there are always a few exhibitions up at the same time that are usually current works of artists from mostly Scandinavian artists. This internship was not a program that was offered, since Icelandic students would not get credits at their school for completing it. I decided to contact the director of the museum and explain to him that in the states we get credits for this kind of an experience and asked him if I could help out this summer. They were all happy to have someone come do work for them and also to be able to teach somebody everything that they know.


Being the only intern, I got to take on so many responsibilities at the museum. I started with setting up a citywide art festival where I got to work closely with local and international artists. I was mostly helping them install their work and make sure everyone was completing the setup for the exhibitions. I learned a lot from installing work, not only professionally but also skills that I will be able to use in my own work. During other exhibtions throughout the summer I was more responsible for advanced planning for the shows. Such as hunting down the art work that the museum was borrowing, both from collectors and the artists. I usually had some hands on experience in setting up those shows as well and also securing the work making sure everything is correctly displayed on the walls and that there are indications that nobody is allowed to touch the work. I also got to do the behind the scene paperwork for the shows, as in complete and sign for all the loan agreements and make sure we have a record of what the museum was borrowing and until when.


When we were not in the middle of setting up a show and things were slower I would be in charge of opening up the museum and making sure everything was running smoothly such as projectors and interactive sculptures. I also made manuals for the museum guards so that they knew exactly how to keep the museum in check. We also had lectures every Thursday and I I cant describe in words how beneficial the experience I had at the museum was to me. I was in a way lucky to be the only intern because i was given so much responsibility and I got a feel for what the art world is really like. I will forever stay in touch with the other employees at the museum especially since most of them are artists who themselves have really interesting projects going on along with their museum work.