Note: visual artists can propose to make a reflection project during the summer or upon return, rather than a written project.
Research into the Cultural Heritage of the Netherlands
My goal for this project is to delve into hands-on work with an art historical collection and to share my experiences upon my return to help expose other Art History students into the inner workings of a major museum. We are all familiar with museums as they present to the public, but being able to have a behind-the-scenes view would be helpful to any students wishing to go into museum work. These opportunities may be hard to come by for some students, so I believe that documenting my time at the Van Gogh Museum would create a resource for the entire Art History department. I hope to make a resource that is both helpful and informative, but also takes a more creative approach than simply an academic essay. I hope to make more solid plans once I understand more of my role at the museum, but through the mediums below I plan on creating a unique resource for other Art History majors but also something that is accessible by any students that wish to know more about museum work.
2. Plan of Action
Phase 1: To be completed in the Netherlands (June- August 2015)
a. Complete an 11-week investigative experience with Dr. Bill Wei and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
I will be working five days a week at the museum, specifically working with their collection catalogue and the idea of “perception”. This experience will serve as the basis for my later projects once I return to Willamette in the fall.
b. Create a blog for the Willamette Art History department about my internship.
I plan to make a blog with weekly posts about my experience. In my blog I hope to investigate ties between cultural heritage, museum work and the discipline of art history. Though I will be writing about an academic learning experience, I plan to take a more creative approach to showing my work. By using photos I hope to document the creative elements of museum work, as well as my time in the Netherlands. My blog will also help me prepare for my fall presentations and provide a way for other students and faculty to keep up with my project.
c. Remain in contact with the on-campus learning community at Willamette through a Skype meeting in July.
Because I will not be completing my research on campus this summer it is important that I remain in contact with other students that are completing their grants. There is a lot that I can learn from others, even though we may be working in different fields. I will complete this by skyping into a meeting sometime in July and hope to be able to get some advice from other grant awardees about my project.
Phase 2: To be completed at Willamette University (August- September 2015)
d. Complete an in-depth research paper about my work, with the aspiration to have it published in an undergraduate journal.
In preparation for my presentations, I will write a 7-10 page research paper based on my work. Though I do not know what I will discover through my work, I hope to find an academic topic that ties in with it. Because it is an academic paper it will be hard to integrate the creative elements of my work, but I aim to include as much as I can. After completing my paper I hope to publish it in an undergraduate journal if possible.
e. Present my work informally in two Art History classes and at the department’s Fall Open House.
In the fall of 2015, in addition to participating in the presentation of all Summer Learning by Creating Grant projects, I will give three comprehensive presentations of my work. Two of these will be in the classroom, specifically for Professor Susik’s College Colloquium class and her ARTH 376W History of Photography class. I plan to tailor my presentation to each class, as there is a great difference in both age and knowledge of art history between the two classes. I hope to create a conversation about the cultural heritage of the Netherlands and how museum work is a part of that.
3. Schedule of Tasks
June, July and August: Work with Dr. Wei and two curators on the conservation of painted photographs
June, July and August: Keep a weekly blog about my experience working with Dr. Wei
June, July and August: Write a 7-10 page research paper based on my work with Dr. Wei
July: Skype into the on-campus learning community meeting for those working on grants
September: Prepare and give presentations of my work to a College Colloquium class, ARTH 376W, as well as the Art History department’s Fall Open House
4. Proposed Budget
a. Airfare (one-way) $1,000
b. Cost of Living (rent, food, transportation, etc.) $3,000
c. Blog fees (Domain name, if needed) $200