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Community of Learners: Dartmouth Student Interns and Curators

Hood Quarterly, winter 2014

For more than twenty-eight years, the Hood Museum of Art has offered internships to Dartmouth students entering their senior year. Students from all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to apply for positions that focus on curatorial, programming, and public relations work within the museum. This year we are delighted to have participating in the program six interns who bring a wide range of perspectives and knowledge to the museum, as indicated by their diverse undergraduate majors: art history, mathematics, environmental studies, English, and studio art.

Three of this year’s interns—Julia McElhinney ’14, Sara Trautz ’15, and Winnie Yoe ’14—are engaged in curatorial work. Xinyue Guo ’14 and Jessica Womack ’14 are programming interns who work with members of the museum’s education staff to create programs that attract Dartmouth students to the museum outside of class. As this year’s public relations intern, Maggie Tierney ’14 works with the communications staff to develop publicity materials to promote exhibitions and programs to Dartmouth students, faculty, and the greater community.

Whatever the focus of their individual work, all interns organize an A Space for Dialogue installation, which gives them the opportunity to curate a small exhibition based on a topic of their choice. This involves selecting and researching objects from the museum’s collections, writing labels and a brochure, participating in the layout of the show, and giving a public gallery talk. It is rare for undergraduate students to have such an opportunity, and one intern recently commented: “The Space for Dialogue experience was one of the most memorable projects of my time at Dartmouth.” A Space for Dialogue, founded with support from the Class of 1948, is made possible with generous endowments from the Class of 1967, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Jr. ’66, and Pamela J. Joyner ’79.

The internship experience at the Hood often has a lasting impact on students’ lives. Many former Hood interns have gone on to graduate programs and academic and museum careers. Others have gone on to pursue careers in galleries, to conduct research with museum evaluation firms, and to work as practicing artists. As one intern commented at the end of her senior year, “It wasn’t until this year and due in great part to this internship that I realized I wanted to be a curator. So, in short, this internship gave me a life plan.”

The Hood Museum of Art thanks the generous alumni and parents who have given endowments to fund the museum’s senior internships: the Class of 1954 Internship, the Homma Family Internship, the Kathryn Conroy Internship, the Levinson Internship, and the Mellon Special Project Internship.

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