Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Walters Art Museum

I am a senior photography major here at MICA. I found out about this internship opportunity from researching on the Walters’ website last semester. I was immediately interested and started making a cover letter and sprucing up my resume right away. Over winter break I received an email from Kate Blanch, my internship coordinator, saying that she felt I fit the position and wanted to conduct a phone interview within the following week. The interview went very well and she told me I could start my internship in January!

The Walters Art Museum is a non-profit organization that was started from Henry Walters’ own art collection. At the Walters I was a Conservation Digitization Intern working on the Kress Grant Digitization Project, which focused on 17th century classical paintings. My duties were to digitize and catalog the documents related to Conservation. Any time the department cleans or x rays or repairs a painting they have documents and photographs that correspond with everything they do to each painting.  My process was to pull the file, scan all photographs and exam sheets, name each individual file, upload them to the cataloging software called Conservation Tracker, label each file as “Digitized” with a time stamp, and then return the file.

This experience gave me the opportunity to strengthen my computer skills (I used PCs mostly, which I am not as familiar with) and helped me establish an efficient workflow. I also just really enjoyed being able to see a museum from the inside and experience a small part of what goes into such and organization. Kate Blanch, my supervisor, was always very helpful but also allowed me to work independently, which was a nice balance.

The most important thing I’ve learned is just the importance of internship and how valuable they are in furthering your career. I got very hands-on experience and a great reference for any application I have in future jobs.  This experience has only made me want to pursue a career in the museum field more!

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