An Intern’s Trip to Philadelphia

Posted on July 31st, 2015 by

Realistically, there must be people who dislike going on field trips, but I am not one of those people. Throughout my internship with the JMM I have been observing and practicing the work that Joanna, the wonderful Collections Manager, does on a daily basis, reaffirming my desire to become a Collections Manager. On July 23rd I was able to accompany Joanna to the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to pick up a donation, reminding me that Collections Managers sometimes go on field trips to other museums. I immediately added that to the list of reasons why I am on the right career path!

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)

When we arrived at the museum, Claire Pingel, the Chief Registrar and Associate Curator of the NMAJH, met us in the lobby. She arranged for us to be able to look through the museum before we signed the paperwork and exchanged the donation.

The main lobby of the NMAJH

The main lobby of the NMAJH

The museum consists of five floors. The 1st floor contains the museum store and café, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame, and small rotating exhibits. Floors two though four hold the core exhibition which is split into three time frames. The exhibition begins on the 4th floor with “Foundations of Freedom: 1654 – 1880,” continues on the 3rd floor with “Dreams of Freedom: 1880 – 1945,” and ends with “Choices and Challenges of Freedom: 1945 – Today” on the 2ndfloor. The fifth floor is home to larger rotating exhibits, currently showing “Richard Avedon: Family Affairs.”

Claire escorted us to the 4th floor. Joanna and I quickly walked through the 1stthird of the core exhibition and then decided to look though the museum store and have lunch in the museum café. We then quickly walked through the 2ndthird of the core exhibition and called Claire when we were finished. She met us in the lobby and Joanna signed the Receipt, proving that the donation was transferred to her and the JMM.

 Joanna signing the receipt!

Joanna signing the receipt!

This was my first ever trip to Philadelphia. Despite the unfortunate short duration of our stay (3 hours), I was able to see a little of the city, catch a quick glimpse of Independence Hall which is situated right next to the NMAJH, and see some of the NMAJH exhibits. Although this field trip was fun, it was also educational. I was able to observe a museum partnership, which demonstrates how museums can help each other to be successful.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Skyline of Philadelphia

Skyline of Philadelphia

I absolutely plan to return to the NMAJH to look through their exhibits again when I have more time. I encourage others to visit as well! The museum is innovative and interesting. There are a ton of kid friendly activities throughout the core exhibition, and activities that adults can enjoy too.

IMG_0985A blog post by Collections Intern Kaleigh Ratliff. To read more posts from interns click HERE.

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A New Perspective

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by

On Tuesday, the JMM interns made a trip to the National Federation of the Blind. It was an awesome experience for all of us!

A happy bunch of interns!

A happy bunch of interns!

The first stop on the tour was their room full of technology that can be used to assist blind people. It was amazing how many different options the blind have when it comes to using technology! They showed us different styles of note takers, accessibility options on iPhones, and even calculators that can speak out loud.

These devices speak out loud and allow the blind to listen to newspapers and books.

These devices speak out loud and allow the blind to listen to newspapers and books.

Here the interns are learning about a binder that can read the text on the page out loud.

Here the interns are learning about a binder that can read the text on the page out loud.

The next stop on the tour was their library. There were books in Braille for the blind, and books in print that related to the blind experience for sighted people to read. As well as books, there were also exhibits in the room as well.

Intern Wrangler Rachel and some of her interns look at (and touch!) art displayed in the library. The pieces are tactile so that you don’t need to see the art with your eyes in order to enjoy it.

Intern Wrangler Rachel and some of her interns look at (and touch!) art displayed in the library. The pieces are tactile so that you don’t need to see the art with your eyes in order to enjoy it.

This is a project that was completed at a STEM summer camp for blind high school students. Students worked together to solve a problem—in this case, an asteroid plummeting toward Earth—and built this solution, some sort of spacecraft.

This is a project that was completed at a STEM summer camp for blind high school students. Students worked together to solve a problem—in this case, an asteroid plummeting toward Earth—and built this solution, some sort of spacecraft.

This exhibit, about galaxies, is tactile; it has raised graphics and paragraphs in Braille so that the blind can understand the information that it conveys.

This exhibit, about galaxies, is tactile; it has raised graphics and paragraphs in Braille so that the blind can understand the information that it conveys.

What does this trip mean for the JMM? It has widened our options to make our institution more accessible for those who cannot see, or with other disabilities. For example, this trip has motivated us to make our website more user friendly for those who are not necessarily able to see it and rely on technology to read it for them.

Now that we have gained more insight into how to make our institution more blind-friendly, we can begin to take steps to achieve that.

CarmenA blog post by Marketing Intern Carmen Venable. To read more posts by interns click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Interns Out & About

Posted on July 19th, 2013 by

Trillion BremenA 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.

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.

Bonsai’s exceptionally clean workshop.

Learning from Scott about creating the inside of a crate.

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.

Bonsai’s pretty crates.

 

 

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