Posted on July 19th, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Education Intern Trillion Attwood. To read more posts by Trillion and other JMM interns, click here.
One of the really fun things about being an intern is the field trips that we take. Before the internship started we were asked to select from a list the places we would most like to visit, as soon as I saw The Holocaust Memorial Museum’s stores, I knew this would be the one I would look forward to most. We finally got our chance yesterday.
There is a statistic that museums only show ten percent of there collection, ninety percent of the time, so I knew that this would be an opportunity to see some amazing objects that I would never see otherwise. As I expected it was a very unassuming building, you would drive past without a second glance, inside though it opened up to be something like the most organized Aladdin’s cave I have ever seen.
Heather Kajic, the Chief of Collections Management, took the time to show us around and see some of the highlights, but also some of the ways that they have tackled some of the common issues faced by museums. For example, the collection was arranged in such a way that it was possible to remove any object from it’s storage location easily and without ever physically touching the object, meaning the collection is protected but accessible.
For me one of the most memorable moments was seeing a collection of paintings that were created in a labor camp, but cannot be put on display due to copyright issues. This can be a common issue in museums, so it was a privilege to have a chance to see them up close. We also saw a selection of clothes worn in concentration camps. One particular pair of pants still had the stains acquired though hard physical labor, which for me made them even more emotive.
On the same day we also had a chance to visit Bonsai Fine Arts, where the one of the owners Scott Pittman and his colleague John Eaton, took the time to show us around. Here we had a chance to learn about some of the practical elements regarding moving artworks. This was a fascinating experience, as an intern this is not something that had come up previously, and was never been mentioned throughout my education.
Me with one of Bonsai’s crates, with a bonsai tree design.
As we walked around we could see the care that goes into creating these creates, they were some of the most beautiful creates I have ever seen, not something I thought I would ever hear myself saying. One of the fun things that we learnt was that certain art galleries have all their creates painted a certain color for easy recognition, for example we saw the specific shades that The Whitney and The National Gallery use.
Bonsai’s exceptionally clean workshop.
Learning from Scott about creating the inside of a crate.
Overall it was another fantastic experience and I know I learnt lots, I really appreciate the time that people took out of their days to enable this opportunity. I am already looking forward to the next trip and getting to use some of what I learnt.
Bonsai’s pretty crates.