Intern Spotlight: Jonah Conlin

In this series, we profile our interns. Phillips interns are an integral part of the museum and work that we do in several different departments: curatorial, education, music, communications and marketing, and more. Our incredible interns also help with our Sunday Concerts, Phillips after 5, and other special events. This semester welcomed our first group of paid interns, part of our institutional values and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Jonah Conlin, photographed by Kabrea Hayman in front of Olafur Eliasson's "The Island Series" in Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018

Jonah Conlin, photographed by Kabrea Hayman in front of Olafur Eliasson’s “The Island Series” in Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018

 

Meet Jonah Conlin.

Which department are you interning for? I’m interning in the Curatorial Department with Elsa Smithgall (Curator, The Phillips Collection).

What is your internship project? My main project is collecting scholarship and visual resources for a potential exhibition on the representation of women in American art between the end of the Civil War and beginning of the first World War.

What do you do when you’re not at The Phillips Collection? I’m a senior at Georgetown, so a lot of my time is spent in class. Outside of that, I’ve recently gotten involved in the school’s Maker’s Space, which is community operated organization that allows students to learn how to use high-tech and low-tech tools for independent projects. I’m working on a woodworking project and am training to use the laser and 3D printers.

What is your favorite space/painting here? I love the spaces in the museum that allow visitors to look deeply at a single artist’s work. Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series and The Rothko Room both come to mind as thoughtfully developed galleries that allow visitors to really consider the artwork and the artistic decisions that went into it. I’m also a big fan of the Nordic Expressions show and Nils Dardel’s The Dying Dandy in particular.

If you were to describe The Phillips Collection in one word, what would that word be? Familial. I’ve been struck by how friendly and close the Phillips’s staff is and I think that translates into the visitor experience too.

What is a fun fact about you? I rowed for the past eight years in high school and college. I just stopped rowing this year because I’m going to be graduating this December. So, I guess another fun fact is that I’m graduating in December.

Why did you want to intern at a museum? I’ve found that a lot of academic disciplines are interesting in the classroom much less so in the professional sphere. After finding art history as a sophomore in college I got the sense that the professional opportunities in the art world would be well suited to me and interned this past summer with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After that experience, I was eager to explore the curatorial side of a museum and that brought me to The Phillips Collection. As a Curatorial Intern, I’m so happy to be working closely with artwork and art historical scholarship.

Anything else you’d like to share? Thanks so much to The Phillips and the entire staff for having me this semester; it has been great so far! Special shout-out to Elsa Smithgall.

Intern Spotlight: Sierra Humes

In this series, we profile our interns. Phillips interns are an integral part of the museum and work that we do in several different departments: curatorial, education, music, communications and marketing, and more. Our incredible interns also help with our Sunday Concerts, Phillips after 5, and other special events. This semester welcomed our first group of paid interns, part of our institutional values and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Sierra Humes, photographed by Kabrea Hayman in front of Poul Gernes "Untitled"

Sierra Humes, photographed by Kabrea Hayman in front of Poul Gernes “Untitled” in Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018

Meet Sierra Humes.

Which department are you interning for and what is your internship project? I am the intern for the Public Programs Department. My main project is to design a Phillips after 5 for the upcoming fall 2019 exhibition about the Nabis artists. I also help with all Thursday night events!

What do you do when you’re not at The Phillips Collection? I’m a senior at George Washington University, so when I’m not at The Phillips Collection, I’m going to classes and studying. One of my classes is a painting class at The Corcoran, so often on weekends I’m working on projects in the studio.

What is your favorite space/painting here? My favorite space at The Phillips Collection is currently the third floor gallery with the skylight. I love the room and find the curation particularly fitting for that space.

If you could describe The Phillips Collection in one word, what would that be? Aware.

What is a fun fact about you? My dad owns a summer camp that I went to every year while I was growing up.

Why did you want to intern at a museum? My interest in museums has grown over the past year, ever since I took an anthropology class taught at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I loved the museum environment and was fascinated by its position and interaction with educating the public.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? Once for a class, we came to The Phillips Collection and I presented on Edouard Vuillard’s Woman Sweeping in French!

Nordic Impressions: Pia Arke (Greenland)

Highlighting one artist featured in Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018.

A Danish artist from Greenland, Pia Arke (b. 1958, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland; d. 2007, Copenhagen) described her artistic practice as “ethno-aesthetics.” Arctic Hysteria (1996) shows Arke moving naked and animal-like on hands and knees across the enlargement of a black-and-white photograph of Nuugaarsuk, the region in Greenland where she grew up in the 1960s. During the silent video, she rips apart the entire photograph.

The title of the work refers to Greenland’s colonialist past and the phenomenon of pibloktoq, later known as “arctic hysteria,” the supposedly irrational behavior by Inhuit (Greenlandic Inuit) women first reported by the American explorer Robert E. Peary in 1892. It was compared to Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer’s diagnosis of female hysteria and most commonly ascribed to the lack of sun and the long arctic nights but may also have been confused with shamanistic rituals of the Inhuit people.

Arctic Hysteria is on view at the Phillips through January 13 in Nordic Impressions.

PIA ARKE (b. 1958, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland; d. 2007, Copenhagen) Arctic Hysteria Arktisk hysteri 1996 Video 4:3 (S-VHS to DVD) 5: 55 min. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Acquired with funding from the Anker Fund

Pia Arke, Arctic Hysteria, 1996, Video 4:3 (S-VHS to DVD) 5: 55 min., Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Acquired with funding from the Anker Fund