Qualifying Paper:
Comfort and Convalescence: Fauteuils de Malade in Eighteenth-Century France

Digital Project Requirement:
I created a digital exhibition titled Comfort & Convalescence: Seating and Sickness in Eighteenth-Century France using SketchUp

What was the value of the project for you?
My digital project was an exhibition created in SketchUp that was loosely based off of the topic of my qualifying paper “Comfort & Convalescence: Fauteuils de Malade in Eighteenth-Century France.” Working through this exhibition allowed me to act as curator, designer, and educator, from selecting the objects, putting together a layout, writing wall labels, and even creating public programming. Because this was an imaginary exhibition, I was able to think outside the box and work on an accelerated timescale developing the skills necessary for a wide variety of museum professions over the course of a single semester. Unlike a traditional research paper, I was able to write for an audience outside of the bubble of academia in a way I never had before, and I was able to think spatially about my objects of research—both in terms of their physical footprint and their visual and sensory qualities. Lastly, because my project dealt with issues of physical disability, I implemented immersive and accessible strategies for engaging visitors, including audio guides, large-print labels, and an interactive design station.

Other Relevant Experience:

Before coming to museum work in my senior year of undergrad, I worked in my college’s special collections and archives for three years, where I dealt not only with old and rare books and manuscripts, but also with a variety of other paraphernalia including eyeglasses, yarn samples, and even swords

On December 5, 2020, I presented a research paper titled “Faces of Terracotta and Stone: Masks, Ritual, and Inversion in Ancient Greece and Rome” at the conference “Play, Masks, and Make-Believe: Ritual Representations,” hosted by the London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research.

Next Steps:
My dream job would be a full-time curatorial assistant working in the European decorative arts at a museum. I don’t have a particular institution in mind, but I love the museum setting because I have a lot of experience working on exhibitions, and I enjoy interacting with the different aspects of museum work, such as collections management, conservation, and education. I would also be happy working in an historic house, library/archive, or other public-facing setting, as I enjoy handling objects and helping people who are curious and looking to learn.

I am largely applying to jobs in the Northeast: ideally New York City, but anywhere from Portland, Maine to Washington DC is fair game for me!