(Note: This blog post was written by former intern Taylor Hunkins, a student studying art history and classics from Dickinson college on his last day at the Michener this summer. Thank you Taylor for all your hard work and dedication to this position!)
Just this morning I had a interesting conversation with Christine Granat, the collections registrar here at the Michener, about the value of volunteering and internships. We both agreed that both are vital for those inspiring to work in museums because it shows sincere passion for and dedication to the field. As this is my last day as a Michener Intern, the conversation made me reflect on my time here. On top of being given the opportunity to show my enthusiasm for museum work, I have greatly appreciated learning about the education department and the different type of work they do. It’s funny, actually, because I never saw myself working for the education department of a museum. I have known that I was interested in museum work since my sophomore year of high school, but my ultimate goal is to one day be a curator because I really enjoy the production of exhibitions as well as the research involved .
Applying to the Michener’s internship program, I reluctantly accepted the fact that if offered a position, it would probably be through the education department. However, I did not think that the Michener would be so accommodating to my interests. After sharing my interests in research and writing, they offered me an internship through the education department that focused on these skills. Adrienne Neszmelyi-Romano, my mentor and Director of Education, New Media, and Interpretive Initiatives, has been extremely courteous in providing me with tasks that I would be fully engaged in while simultaneously helping me learn the different type of work she does. I have gained valuable skills such as writing for the public, learning about various social media platforms, incorporating archival information into general research, and developing fun activities about the exhibitions for families. These are tools I will be able to use in multiple ways in whatever I do and I am truly thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn about them!
Aside from the learning experience, I have received a number of “perks” while interning at the Michener. There was one day Birgitta Bond, Michener’s librarian and Bucks County Artists Database Coordinator, took one of her interns and myself on a tour around Bucks County to visit the homes of some of the local artists. I got to see Phillips Mill, Cuttalossa, and a pretty cool peach farm where we stopped for a snack. During my internship I also had the opportunity to talk to local artist, Wendy Paton about her work. Her exhibition, Nuit Blanche, really captivated me and she was nice enough to discuss her process and vision. Also, writing this blog post is a “perk” unto its own because it qualifies as a publication- something I can add to a resume! And I can’t forget my favorite perk about this internship- getting to walk around the galleries and see the art! So I want take this moment and say thank you to the Michener Art Museum for an invaluable experience. Thank you Adrienne for taking me on as an intern and taking into consideration my interests while giving me tasks. This experience has provided me with skills that I can apply to future opportunities and it has laid the foundation for what I hope is a fruitful career in museum work. I look forward in staying updated with the Michener and hopefully I have the chance to work with them again.
-Taylor Hunkins, Michener Art Museum Intern