More accurately, it was just for four days, between Tuesday and Friday, but who’s counting?
To kick off my summer holidays, I organised a work placement with the museum, and as an aspiring Art Historian, I would not have wanted it any other way. I’ve been working closely with Joyce Paesen, the Exhibitions Officer. This has presented me with the opportunity to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes in a museum and in exhibitions; both the process leading up to one, during and after. I felt like I was involved with the process, even if a very minor role – having been assigned tasks that met with my capabilities as a young A-levels student who is only just learning the ropes.
On my first day, I was told to do exhibition research on Peter Thursby for his exhibition coming mid-summer next year, and to write up a summary of his work by the end of the day. I was given a name, a book and a laptop. Although I had no knowledge of him at the beginning of the day, I feel I can safely say that I know all there is to know about him now. That day made me realise my underlying hobby for research on artists by encouraging me to use my research skills and apply it to the museum workspace.
Other tasks I was assigned were to lend a helping hand; this included helping with the workshops for students, and going around the museum to look for questions to pose in a quiz meant for an upcoming event. Performing these tasks made me realise just how interactive this museum is with its visitors, as they actively find ways to encourage them to participate in activities and be involved with the museum. I also enjoyed having to look for the questions because that meant I was able to roam around the museum, paying careful attention to the captions in order to pick out information, and by doing so, I learnt so much.
Even if I was assigned with other tasks that did not require me to roam around the museum, I was allowed to do so. The office has such a relaxed environment, everybody is so nice and helpful, too, that I felt comfortable working there in the short period of time that I did. All I can say to the Salisbury Museum is thank you for this opportunity!
Hannah undertook a student placement with us recently. Thank you Hannah, we enjoyed your stay with us.
More from our student visitors next week.