As the Mellon Special Project Curatorial intern, Amanda Manker has spent this year working closely with Essi Ronkko, Assistant Curator for Special Projects, studying Greek and Roman art. Amanda works to research, categorize, and upload information concerning the objects from the Yale University Art Gallery Sharing Initiative collection. Amanda and the Hood would like to thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for sponsoring her internship.
* This internship is part of a collection-sharing initiative instituted by the Yale University Art Gallery and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
As an art history major, Amanda Manker followed her interests and natural curiosity to explore how an art museum works. Her impressive coursework and eagerness made her a perfect fit as a curatorial intern at the Hood. So far, she claims that the hands-on experience in curating has been a fantastic opportunity to gain insight. This experience has only reaffirmed her desires to continue working in the art world, whether through curating, teaching, or some other role. Additionally, as an education major, Amanda spent last summer combining her teaching ability with her passion for art by working as an arts educator at a non-profit organization. Already her work at the Hood has provided another experience that she truly enjoys.
At the Hood, Amanda has spent most of her time working on the Yale University Art Gallery Collection-Sharing Initiative. She has been relentlessly organizing, researching, and updating the project's website with information about this amazing loan of fifty ancient Greek and Roman objects that Yale lent to the Hood. In particular she has focused on the tesserae, terracotta tokens used as ritual banquets in the Roman Syria region. They will be featured in the show in the spring titled Investigatiions into the Ancient Mediterranean. She enthuses: "I've really loved the researching aspect of my work here. It's also so crazy to be able to have access to all the incredible objects I've been working with. I think it makes a huge difference when you do research if you can actually stand in front of the object you're writing about and really get to know it."
Center and Periphery: Cultural Hybridity in the Funerary Arts of the Roman Provinces
In addition to the research mentioned above, Amanda has been working on her own show, in which she will be pursuing her fascination with Mediterranean art. In working with the Yale loan objects, she noticed that many of the works are from Roman provinces, which piqued her interest in the way local culture and imperial culture are expressed through art. For Amanda, the research was the easy part of the process--the label writing was a different story. As she describes the process, “Label writing is hard! You do so much extremely detailed research and then refine it down to something that will make sense and be interesting to a general audience that doesn’t have much historical art background! It is then up to you to figure out what is important, what corresponds to your theme, and what you need to communicate. The difficulty is in being concise when there is just so much to say about these works.” With this in mind, Amanda decided to focus on the concept of identity in the ways that people perceive their own identities and how they choose to express those qualities to an outside viewer.
In her gallery talk on Wednesday, February 29, at 4:00 PM, Amanda will discuss "Romanness" as the relationship between cultural identity and individual identity by exploring several objects from the Yale University Art Gallery Collection-Sharing Initiative.
Find a PDF of Amanda's brochure here.
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Last Updated: 2/22/12