The First Four Weeks as a Museum Registrar

So far, my experience at the Everhart Museum of Natural History and Art has been one that I will appreciate in my many years to come. As an Art Major, I understand that sometimes in order to achieve a goal of becoming someone who teaches art at college level, or in his or her own studio, he or she must first work to gain as much knowledge about the art world as is possible. Working in a museum has so far expanded my knowledge about local art, and what goes on behind the scenes; that is, what happens behind those white gallery walls in order to create an exhibition that would catch the interest of the public, no matter their age. What I have been doing holds the title of Registrar- I am entering their art collection into a database called Past Perfect. Up until now, the Museum’s collection has been recorded on notecards and other obscure forms in over 30 drawers of file folders. The collection numbers over 6000, and in the 4 weeks I have been there, I have made it through nearly 400 files. One might think that number is not very impressive, but it is so much more than retyping cards into a database. Some items have very little to draw upon, so I do research, and find out as much as I can about the particular item. Or, in some cases, there are email correspondences, hand written letters, and type-written thank yous for pieces donated. This experience, so far, has given much more insight as to what happens in a museum when its doors are closed to the public, and I am very excited to discover what waits for me in the coming file folders

Jordan Oakey
Liberal Studies with concentrations in Studio Art, Art History, and Education Theory

One thought on “The First Four Weeks as a Museum Registrar

  1. Bobby McGowan

    Hey Jordan,

    The work you’re doing this summer sounds extremely interesting. Your experience seems to be providing you with a perspective that very few people have and seems to be providing you with the diverse knowledge base that you’ll need to teach in either a collegiate or private studio setting.

    Though your task seems daunting, the work will no doubt continue to be engaging, as you’re sure to come across a variety of pieces with unique stories that you’ll have the opportunity to (re)discover.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer, and keep up the good work!

    Reply

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