INTERN SPOTLIGHT: INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA MCCRAVEN '19

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 01:00 pm

Victoria McCraven '19, the Homma Family Intern for curatorial, talks about her experience as a Hood senior intern. 

What do you do for your internship?

My internship at the Hood gives me the opportunity to engage with several topics. Each week I meet with a small team of interns and the internship coordinator Amelia Kahl '01, associate curator of academic programming, to discuss museum work and careers in art. Each day I come to work and have the opportunity to work on something new. Sometimes I am in direct contact with the art, while other days I read scholarly articles to research a piece for an upcoming exhibition.

Why were you interested in a Hood internship?

I learned about the Hood internship from Dartmouth alumni who work in the art world, as an important experience in their discovery of art as their career path. Now that I am an intern, I cannot imagine my senior year without this amazing experience.

What has been your favorite moment of the internship so far?

I really like going into the galleries and learning about the works from expert curators. The Hood has been closed most of my time at Dartmouth thus far and it was amazing to see the exhibits before anyone else did. I also really enjoyed dining with members of the Hood's Board of Advisors, which allowed us to meet patrons in the art world.

What is your Space for Dialogue exhibit about and why did you pick this topic?

My Space for Dialogue show developed out of initial research I did for my supervisor on a Romare Bearden print and my own personal reckoning with my identity as a black woman and as a Christian. It can be hard to separate Christianity from its central role in colonization and the oppression of people of color. Last term, I was enrolled in a course about the founding of Dartmouth College, and I soon learned that the president of the college for 35 years defended slavery using the Bible. Religious defense of slavery built this campus. It was in researching Romare Bearden that I began to uncover the ways in which African Americans have reclaimed their relationship with Christianity through both integrating traditional healing practices and applying the Bible to their own experiences and hardships.

Often the main characters in the Bible are portrayed as white, with the exception of a depiction of Christ in the manger with the three Magi. Modern artists such as Bearden center blackness in the religious narrative, depicting classical biblical scenes with black subjects. The artists in this exhibition draw parallels between Noah's Ark and the middle passage, the Garden of Eden and black Hoodoo culture, and Christ's crucifixion and the death of black people at the hands of police brutality. In my exhibition I explore the ways in which modern artists portray the black human experience through the lens of Christianity, centering blackness, and highlighting black subjects and black artists.

What was your first encounter with art at Dartmouth?

I was first introduced to art at Dartmouth when I took Drawing I during my freshman fall. I never considered centering my career around my art until I studied abroad in Spain during my sophomore summer. It was in Spain that I took my first art history class and realized I had a real eye and passion for art history.

What are you most excited about for the Hood’s reopening?

I am excited to show my family and friends around the galleries.

If you could borrow one object to display in your living room, what would it be?

This question caught me off guard, and I would say Thomas Cole's View on Lake George (1826). Everyone wishes that was in their living room.