Monday, January 7, 2013

Link Sharing

Recently I've been applying to jobs, and getting emotional about how few of them there are and my chances &c., and then I was thinking I should go for a second, more generalized M.A. or possibly a PhD, and I've come across a decent number of links I wanted to share with those others in the same boat as me.

How to Get A Museum Internship, from the Art History Blog: I have been lucky enough to be a volunteer, unpaid intern, paid intern, and full-fledged hired employee in a lot of different museums–from the very small and specific, to the medium-sized, to the encyclopedic and kinda famous. As I’ve now completely transitioned into supervising interns myself rather than being one, I thought it was high time I write a post about how to go about getting an internship in a museum.(I haven't had that many internships, but this does generally fit with my experience!)


Should You Get A PhD to Work in a History Museum? by Steven Lubar: I talk to many students interested in museum work. They ask about what training they should get for this. My story is pretty straight now. For better or worse, an MA seems to be necessary to get ahead in the museum world. ... I think that in many cases, a Ph.D. is not only not useful, but actually teaches the wrong things for museum work.

100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School [for a PhD], which is a whole blog.  (It's speaking to a very specific set of people and sort of mixes MAs and PhDs and I don't think it applies across the board, but in general these are very good points.)  There is also a long list of links to similar essays in the sidebar.

No More Plan B, by and Entering graduate students file in. They're nervous, they're eager, they don't know quite what to expect. If the director of graduate studies does the job well, the annual orientation ritual will nourish their anticipation, while allaying their anxieties. Still, out of a sense of responsibility, faculty should keep one source of reasonable trepidation on the table: the job market. It is what it is, and entering students need to enter with their eyes open to it.

And, not related to those, I just found out that the Albany Institute of History and Art is on Pinterest, and the pictures they've posted so far are from Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen, the exhibition that I worked on.  Sadly, they are not the biggest pictures (especially sadly in the case of the fans, which are really detailed - like this cabriolet fan from the 18th century).  Nothing has been posted in months, but maybe some more will come up soon.

6 comments:

  1. Cassidy, such a funny coincidence that you should mention the Albany exhibit in this post, because I JUST got a response back from the Collections Coordinator at the Charleston Old Exchange about the possible waistcoat twins! I had e-mailed her back in April when you pointed out their similarity and apparently the website e-mail wasn't working at that time so she didn't get it until lately. I hope it's ok that I shared your picture with her to compare, and if they match exactly, she'd like to get in touch with you if you've still got contact with the Albany Institute or any more info about the waistcoat.

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    1. That's so cool! I'm not actually there anymore but I am still in touch with them, but if she wants to just email Doug McCombs, the curator of history and material culture, his email is on the contact page. I don't personally have any more information on the waistcoat.

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    2. Thanks! I will let her know after she compares the photo, if she thinks they're identical...if so I wonder if that's the first ever known 18th century duplicate clothing so far. I've certainly never seen two of the exact same clothing item, they have all seemed one-of-a-kind. Twin waistcoats would be fascinating. I'll keep you posted on whatever I hear from her!

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  2. I've read Lubar's posts, and I think he's worth listening too. I am sorry there are not more jobs in museums at every level. What I look for is experience more than a degree, and attitude. If someone has done real work (paid, volunteer or intern), especially repetitive or dirty work, in a museum, that will stand out more than a Ph.D. or even a second MA. I don't believe you need a Ph.D. to do collections work, but you need patience, persistence, attention to detail, and a willingness to get dirty and take some risks. Those traits help make better catalog records, storage rooms, and exhibitions. Best of luck...really.

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    1. Thanks! I will remember to emphasize the dirty work most in my next interview, haha.

      I was definitely not considering actually going for a PhD, but it had been suggested to me before and I knew there were downsides so I went looking for them. Just to have them ready.

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  3. The woman who came every day of her collections internship in a cashmere sweater and silk scarf didn't work out so well...I think she is in development now! Best of luck looking.

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