Submitted by Alison M. Palizzolo on Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:27 am
Where are they now?: Jane Cavalier, 2012–2013 Class of 1954 Intern
What have you been up to since you graduated from Dartmouth in 2014?
After graduating, I had a 2014–2015 Fulbright Research Scholarship in Berlin to study German art. I then went on to get a masters degree in art history, with a concentration on contemporary American art, from the Courtauld Institute in London, with the generous support of Dartmouth’s James B. Reynolds Scholarship. I now work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where I am the Modern Women’s Fund 12-Month Intern in Drawings and Prints.
Were your original intentions to pursue a career in the arts after college?
In what way(s) was your internship at the Hood helpful to you as someone entering the arts job market?
I continue to think of my time at the Hood—curating my Space for Dialogue exhibition and working with then-Director Michael Taylor—as one of the best professional experiences of my life. The opportunity to research, develop, and install an exhibition from start to finish so early in one’s career is almost unheard of outside of Dartmouth. The experience gave me confidence in my own scholarship and curatorial abilities, which I continue to carry with me. Furthermore, it was a remarkable experience to work so closely with and learn from Michael Taylor, whose scholarship, openmindedness, and generous spirit continue to inspire me in my work.
Did your internship at the museum provide you with any skills, knowledge, or assistance that the rest of your education at Dartmouth did not?
Absolutely! There was nowhere else on campus where I could work directly with objects and learn how to write, curate, and present for public audiences other than at the Hood.
Was the Hood a valuable resource for you as an undergraduate?
I worked at the Hood for three out of my four years at Dartmouth, and it was not only a critical resource for my art history classes, but also a second home to me on campus. It was the place where I first developed meaningful professional relationships, and where I felt comfortable taking intellectual risks. I also enjoyed spending time there with my friends and exploring the exhibitions together. In fact, the Hood’s reception for incoming freshmen was where I met one of my best friends from Dartmouth.
What advice would you give to a current Dartmouth student hoping to pursue a career in the arts?
I often worry about job instability and lack of opportunities in the arts. If you do too, you’re not alone. A friend who is an artist-turned-programmer once told me that the people who make it in the arts are the ones who believe they can make it. You have to believe in yourself and ceaselessly put yourself (and most of all, you’re passions) forward. As David Brooks said to the Dartmouth Class of 2015 on their graduation day, “It’s the things you chain yourself to that set you free.”
What advice would you give to a Dartmouth student considering applying for an internship at the museum?
You’ll never have an internship as great as this one. Go for it!
Jane Cavalier is the Modern Women’s Fund 12-Month Intern at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She received a master’s degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute in July 2016, and was a 2014–2015 Fulbright Research Scholar in Berlin. Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Cavalier writes art and cultural criticism; her work has been published by The Brooklyn Rail, The L.A. Review of Books, The Art Newspaper, MOMUS, and Hyperallergic.
Read Jane's article One Undergraduate's Hood Experience, in the 2013 spring Quarterly.