An Intern’s Trip to Philadelphia
A blog post by Collections Intern Kaleigh Ratliff. To read more posts from interns click HERE.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.