Maggie C. North
Adding a curatorial facet to my repertoire helped me to understand the importance of art as it pertains to both the scholarly knowledge of individual objects and the public’s viewing of these objects. Each opportunity to handle a pastel in storage, identifying media, view Durer’s printed lines under a powerful microscope, or contribute to an object file is wildly rewarding. Understanding the museum’s best practices for storage, research, writing, and identifying objects has prepared me for my next steps, and will surely be useful wherever I go. Additionally, the feeling that I have made a real contribution to the Prints, Drawings and Photographs department by researching and writing labels for objects from the collection that will be on view this December gives me confidence to do more of this going forward.
Since the cooperative, supportive, interested, and engaging environment was among my most valuable take-aways from RISD, a curatorial career path, or at least a museum career path, is one that now appeals to me for reasons I did not realize it would. I am walking away with an understanding of my department as more than just a facility for storage and research. I know now that we are enthusiasts, activists, teachers and storytellers that hold our objects to the highest esteem.