Diving Deeper into The Phillips Collection

2020-21 Sherman Fairchild Fellow Ariana Kaye reflects on her time at The Phillips Collection as the Education + Interpretation Fellow.

Ariana Kaye in the Laib Wax Room

Over the 2020-2021 year, I served as The Phillips Collection’s Education + Interpretation Fellow. The past year has been unique, to say the least, and the most common question I would get is, “How do you work for a museum remotely”? Well, to sum it up, it involved many Zoom calls, remote research, reading books and PDFs, watching videos, reading artist testimonies, and writing blog posts.

During my fellowship, I got to dive deeper into works in the permanent collection and the Seeing Differently centennial exhibition and give each work on display its own individual research attention. This is something I don’t think I would have been able to do if I was in person. Often, I researched works that entered the museum’s collection within the past five to six years that had not yet been given their own context within the broader collection. I wrote blog posts about my encounters with these works, such as Gladys Wik Elder, and also wrote about events that occurred during the museum’s centennial year that corresponded with works on view such as John Edmonds’s Hood 2. I also had the honor of visiting artist Oren Eliav’s studio and interviewing him.

One of the best parts of the virtual fellowship was the ability to attend meetings of all departments through Zoom that I would not have been able to join otherwise. I got to participate in curatorial discussions, event planning, as well as education and community engagement updates. I also got to help develop educational content that was then uploaded to the Phillips’s new website. Additionally, I had the pleasure of helping with some special projects, such as the Roz Jacobs Tribute, contributed research on Latinx art to the Duncan Phillips Lecture with Arlene Dávila, and assisted in preparing kits for our summer teacher institute led by our PK-12 education staff.

I am immensely grateful to The Phillips Collection for this unique and fulfilling opportunity!

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