Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to gain some experience in museum work. Having come across an internship opportunity a year ago, I decided to search for it again. Lo and behold it was there! I applied and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (at the University of Oklahoma) in Norman, OK offered me a position in the Education Department, and I took the opportunity without hesitation. The museum has quite a few excellent programs that are free to the public. They also have a fantastic permanent collection featuring Native American Art and French Impressionism, so I was really excited to get involved with as much as possible.
I have been working mostly with two different programs: Art Adventures and Sooner Museum Quest. Art Adventures is intended for preschool aged children. This program consists of a weekly story and art project, and we also offer gallery guides that have pieces in the museum that relate to the week’s story. My main job with this program is to make the gallery guides, so I get to wander around the museum until I find what I want, which I quite enjoy! Sooner Museum Quest is a program aimed at underprivileged groups in the Oklahoma City and Norman areas. The groups in this program spend the morning at the Fred Jones and the afternoon at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, also in Norman. The program this summer is centered around Pablo Picasso’s Woman in Studio which is currently on loan to the museum. The groups are taken on an Elements of Art Tour and they also get to make a monochromatic painting.
When I have extra time, I have also been putting together a docent packet for a color tour starting in the fall called Over the Rainbow. I’ve really enjoyed working on it because I get to do research, so it’s a nice change of pace. I also do various miscellaneous tasks, such as making a catalog of all of the children’s books that the museum owns or stuffing envelopes. Overall it has been a wonderful summer so far, and it’s going fast! I’m learning quite a lot and I definitely know now that I am headed in the right direction. I hope to have an opportunity in the future to do another internship here, perhaps in the Curatorial Department.