Summer Centered: Three Fords Learn How A Museum Is Run From One Of The Best In The World
This summer, Courtney Carter, Kelly Jung, and Sofia Vivado (all Class of 2017) have received funding from the John B. Hurford ‘60 Center for Arts and Humanities to participate in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s highly competitive Museum Studies Internship Program.
Students across the country compete each summer to secure a spot in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s prestigious Museum Studies Internship Program, including many graduate students in the field, but this year three Fords earned the honor. Thanks to funding from the John B. Hurford ‘60 Center for Arts and Humanities, they are working at the world-class museum in the heart of Philly, learning graphic design, leading tours for summer camp groups, and conducting library outreach, all of which offers important insights into museum industry.
Carter, an English major, is interning with the editorial and graphic design department under Senior Marketing Editor Gretchen Dykstra, who is responsible for all print and digital publications as well as any other text or image content that circulates around the Museum. She has enjoyed the collaborative nature of the work, which includes helping to create comprehensive visual and textual information and working toward the museum’s long-term goal of visual re-branding.
“Because of the nature of the department and the work that I do, I am able to point to posters printed around town, object labels in the new special exhibition, and brochures printed for visitors and say, ‘I edited that. I contributed to that,’” she says. “It's very cool. I like being able to see the effect of my work tangibly.”
She is well versed in museum work from her previous experiences, but this year she added professional editorial work to her slate of skills. This type of work is of interest to her as she was an editor for student journal Body Text at Haverford and is seriously considering a career in book publishing.
“This internship opportunity gives me the perfect opportunity to gain editing experience at a well-respected institution, and learn skills that I can take with me to my future professional editorial pursuits,” Carter says.
Jung works as an education intern, leading tours for summer camp groups, assisting with Art Splash (a summer family art program), and visiting local libraries where she gives presentations related to the Museum’s current special series of events and exhibitions called Creative Africa. A co-manager and former intern at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, she was excited to take part in this new opportunity.
“This summer pretty much everyday I have been excited to go to work,” she says. “To lead a group of 15 to 20 kids through the museum, showing them works of art that they are entirely unfamiliar with, hearing creative responses and challenging questions and helping them make art, all of these moments have been entirely exciting and valuable for me.”
The philosophy major loves talking about art and working with children, and those skills are not only integral to her position with the museum, but also are guiding her future plans.
“I have always been interested in thinking about making philosophy more accessible as a study and envisioning different teaching models that would allow philosophy education to be possible for the younger children,” she says.
Like Jung, Vivado is interning in the education department, facilitating the Museum’s vision of accessibility to visitors of all ages, including children 6 to 12 years old.
“The other morning after a tour, a six-year-old camper told me that he wants to live at the museum so he can look at the art every night before he falls asleep,” she says of a particularly proud moment.
The anthropology major and history of art minor enjoys making art accessible to children, even though it comes with challenges such as making sure that little fingers don’t accidentally touch priceless artworks. In addition to her museum internship, Vivado is also working with the project manager at the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, where she assists with programming, researching for upcoming mural projects, and connecting the Mural Arts Program with communities and prospective collaborators.
“Art in all forms has always been a central component to my life and has forged my belief that access to the arts is crucial to the nurturing of the self and of communities,” she says. “The excitement of facilitating access to the impactful works of art in the PMA's collections has really inspired me to become involved in arts education.”
—Katya Konradova '19
"Summer Centered" is a series exploring our students' Center-funded summer work.