A great opportunity at hand.
Yingxi (Lucy) Gong '13, teaching assistant and graduate student
Internship: Summer Andrew W. Mellon Intern, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; European Painting Curatorial Intern, Cleveland Museum of Art
Graduate School: M.A., Art History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
While pursuing my degree in art history, I gained internship experience at museums and galleries of various scales (e.g. MFA Boston, Cleveland Museum of Art) but my most rewarding experience was my two years of curatorial fellowship at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (yes, the one on the first floor of the art building).
At the MHC Art Museum, I was directly involved in an unbelievably wide range of museum work, from curatorial research and publication, database entry, collection inventory, meeting with consultant scholars, and giving gallery talks.
During my initial training, the museum staff were willing to show me not only "how to do this" but also "why we do it in such way."
The museum staff were not only my daily colleagues, but also mentors to me — they trusted and supported my work and interests, and I had the great opportunity to curate two exhibitions. I used my knowledge of Japanese art and language to finish cataloging the whole Japanese print collection. The museum also offered me numerous opportunities to practice public speaking through leading tours with various groups of visitors, from K12 groups, college students, to the general public.
Compared to my other experiences at major museums, the MHCAM taught me the most about working in a museum with its diverse but unique collection, passionate and dedicated staff members, as well as the many daily tasks and special projects assigned to me.