A blog post by summer intern Carrie Coviello.
For my internship, I have been organizing and processing the materials that can be used for the upcoming exhibition at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Hospital. While this has involved me spending hours and hours of time in front of the copy machine photocopying photographs and documents, seeing all of the past pictures of Levindale had made me really curious to see what Levindale is like today. Luckily, I had two opportunities to visit Levindale recently.
On the first visit, I accompanied JMM Archivist Jennifer Vess to go to the Levindale Auxiliary. The Auxiliary had offered to donate some of its materials to the JMM so we went to their office to do a collection’s assessment. We took photographs of the materials and wrote down basic descriptions of what was on the shelves or in boxes. From the photographs and the descriptions, the museum staff and the Collections Committee can make a decision about accepting the Auxiliary objects into the JMM Collection.
My first impression of Levindale was that it was huge. Never, until now, have I seen a nursing home that had shuttles to transport people from building to building. I saw the town center resident buildings which are under construction but well on their way to completion. What I didn’t see, which made me very sad, was a cat or a dog roaming the hallways. After seeing pictures of residents with animals and finding out that Levindale has a whole program that allows residents to have cats and dogs, I was excited to see some animals. However no animals could be found.
My second visit to Levindale was yesterday, July 6. I went along with Associate Director Anita Kassof, Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink, Curator Dean Krimmel, Exhibition Designer Chuck Mack, and Graphics Designer Paula Bogart to meet with members of the Levindale Exhibition team: President Aric Spitulnik, project manager Dorothy Hellman, and PR manager Helene King. At the meeting the model of the exhibit was presented as well as template graphics and various issues of the exhibit design were discussed. From a Museum Studies graduate student stand point, it was interesting to hear the same issues on exhibit design (visual overload, text size, room flow, etc) that we frequently discuss in class.
Perhaps the best part of the visit came as we were leaving. As we were getting off the elevator I glanced to the right and saw an orange cat at the other end of the hallway! The cat came up to me and I learned that the cat’s name is Trixie. We became the best of friends. I hope to return to Levindale so that I can see my new friend Trixie again and make many other new friends, animal or human.