Fellow Spotlight: Gary Calcagno

Meet our 2021-22 Sherman Fairchild Fellows. As part of our institutional values and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, the Sherman Fairchild Fellowship is a comprehensive, yearlong paid program that includes hands-on experience, mentoring, and professional development. 

Gary Calcagno

Why are you interested in working at a museum?

While I could write a whole paper on this question, I’m most interested in working in museums because I love learning. And not just learning about art and history, but about different cultures and peoples who can teach us new ways of looking at the world.

What brought you to The Phillips Collection?

I learned about Duncan Phillips and his collection in one of my graduate seminars, so when the centennial exhibition Seeing Differently opened, I made sure to get a ticket to visit the museum. I read more about what The Phillips Collection does and learned about the museum’s partnership with the University of Maryland. Since I’m interested in academic affairs in museums, I was eager to get involved and decided to apply for the Sherman Fairchild Foundation Fellowship. I’m hoping to learn more about how museums develop these partnerships and how museums can support education across institutions and communities.

Please tell us about your work at the Phillips over the summer, and the projects that you will be working on during your fellowship. What do you hope to accomplish during your fellowship?

As a Sherman Fairchild Foundation Fellow, I’m working in the DEAI (diversity, equity, access, and inclusion) department and focusing on our partnership with UMD. We’re working with a professor at the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies to develop an anti-racism lecture series that will be co-sponsored by the Phillips. I was first tasked to research potential speakers who are working on projects that address salient issues across disciplines. Since a lot of us can work remotely, we can reach out to people across the country and provide platforms for important conversations. You can learn more about the series, Antiracism: Communities + Collaborations and stay tuned for the first program of the season in November!

What is your favorite painting/artist here?

I really enjoy the works we have on display by Honoré Daumier. Especially To the Street and The Uprising which are about the French revolution of 1848. I like the hazy painted technique and warm color palette with the mass of persons that give you a sense of the energy of revolt. His prints and illustrations are fun, too!

If you were to describe the Phillips in one word, what would that word be?


What is a fun fact about you?

Before starting kindergarten, I went to visit family in Peru with my mom and when we came back I forgot how to speak English and had to re-learn it.

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