Curatorial Internships

Smith College Museum of Art

2015

Nicole Viglini

 

My responsibilities were to assist in cataloguing and researching the works on paper in the collection, which is mainly comprised of etchings by forgotten American and British artists of the Etching Revival, write blog posts, and put together a small exhibit based on my research. Over the course of ten weeks, I learned a new catalogue database system, became more familiar with printing techniques, and acquired a newfound appreciation for the art of etching, as well as the historical contexts in which these prints were created.

During the internship, I put together two small exhibits. One exhibit showcases the prints of five women artists of the late nineteenth century, who studied under Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and subsequently learned etching under Stephen Parrish. I became so intrigued by the array of American prints from the 1930s I came across in the collection that I was inspired to create an additional one. The second exhibit is on artists of the Great Depression, including works by those contracted by the WPA/FAP, and others working independently. In perusing these pieces, I was struck by the fact that American printmakers during the Great Depression commented not only on the extent of economic hardship people experienced, but also on the social cohesion that came out of the efforts to overcome these tribulations.

It was a privilege to be able to work with the vast compilation of prints from The Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang Collection this summer, thanks to the generous grant from the IFPDA. This has been an extremely valuable learning experience, and I look forward to being able to apply what I learned over the summer to my future endeavors.