My senior thesis prepared me for museum research and graduate school

Taylor Anderson with museum objects

Image courtesy of Taylor Anderson ’15.

Taylor Anderson ’15

Art Museum Advisory Board Fellow, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Academic focus: art history and mathematics double major

Thesis: "Visualizing the Villa Adriana from the Renaissance to the Digital Age"

The culminating experience of my time as an art history student at Mount Holyoke was writing an honors thesis.

My senior thesis, "Visualizing the Villa Adriana from the Renaissance to the Digital Age" was the product of about eight months of research and writing. In addition to learning about my topic, Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, I learned a great deal about conducting careful, sustained research and improved both the prose and structure of my writing. Perhaps most important, I discovered that I was capable of dedicating myself to a prolonged, in-depth project and maintaining interest in a concentrated topic.

I worked very closely with my advisor, Professor Bergmann, who helped guide my research, read numerous drafts, and asked insightful questions that drove the project forward. Professor Bergmann and the art history department were supportive, encouraging and pushed me to do my very best work.

In my current position as Art Museum Advisory Board Fellow at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, I am in the process of organizing and curating a small exhibition. Like my thesis, this is a long-term endeavor requiring research, writing, and creativity.

Writing an art history honors thesis prepared me to tackle this project and will certainly be beneficial when I pursue a graduate degree in art history.