Striving for the interdisciplinary

McKenzie Conner working as a docent in a gallery

McKenzie Conner giving a tour on French influence in Ira Yeager's work, Bellingham, WA, April 2016.

McKenzie Conner ’13

Nonprofit Assistant Director, Château de Chantilly

Academic focus: art history and french double major

Study Abroad program: MHC Montpellier

Internship: Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA; Musée Condé Art Museum, Chateau de Chantilly, Chantilly, France.

Art history is an interdisciplinary field and I have put my Mount Holyoke academic foundation to use in varying avenues from art historical graduate research to teaching elementary aged students how to understand art.

I urge Mount Holyoke art historians to take advantage our program's interdisciplinarity by merging their studies with as many other fields as possible. Throughout my work and academic career, I have connected art history with French, art studio, and elementary education.

As a double major at Mount Holyoke, I applied my art historical lens in learning the French language and culture. I studied abroad in France for a semester in Montpellier taking art history classes on French art in the French language. In France, I experienced the art first-hand that I had only ever seen digitally in slide-form.

Learning another language and culture is an insight into the background of its artists you would never understand otherwise. I interned at the Château de Chantilly as a tour guide of its art museum, the Musée Condé. This experience led to an independent study and thesis that melded my backgrounds from both academic fields.

The academic pairings art historians make almost become a separate field in their own right. I am still building upon this art history-French pairing today, as well as, an array of others.