Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Blanton Museum of Art

Spring 2016 Site Review

Position: Research Intern
Student: European Studies Senior

I adore working at the Blanton. I am currently a research intern for the Center for Prints, Drawings, and European Paintings under supervision of the Curatorial Research Associate. I have been aiding in the reinstallation of the permanent collection, so my duties vary but generally fluctuate between organizing files (both physical and digital) and writing object labels for the reinstallation.

Both sides of my job suit me. One is more tedious, but also a meditative form of work. The other side, the more intellectual side, is as rigorous as it is rewarding. I have spent a lot of time researching Old Masters, both at the library and on the computer. Researching at the Blanton has taught me how truly useful the UT libraries are, specifically the Fine Arts Library. There have been countless times I have been searching for a rare text and have incredulously found it on our campus.

I love researching new paintings because it taps into my childhood dreams of being a detective. I try to find everything. I run down every rabbit hole and collect all the evidence I can. At the end, I look at all the information I've gathered; on the subject, on the artist, the technique, context, and composition, etc., and then I try to condense it down to 150 words. It's amazing, really, the amount of work that goes into one wall panel. Weeks of acquainting oneself to an outdated altarpiece, then suddenly you're not staring at a 400 year old painting, but a 4 year old screen, and you must contain that painting in that screen. 150 words or less. It's a trip.

One of the best aspects of working at the Blanton is the environment. I go to the galleries every chance I can. To go over a file, to read a book, to compose a label. If my painting is in open storage, I'm in front of it. My work is hard, but it isn't stressful. It's life-giving. Visual arts will only become more important, and the ability to develop a concrete understanding of Old Masters under the care of professionals has been truly priceless.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508