Department: Windgate Curatorial Internship
Semester: Fall 2019, spring 2020, or academic year 2019-2020
Primary purpose: To aid curatorial staff in accomplishing critical tasks associated with new acquisitions, collections management, and exhibition of the Museum’s craft collection
Essential functions: In spring 2019, the new Asheville Art Museum will open after a major renovation and construction project. The project will radically transform the interiors of the Museum’s North and East Wings, rebuild the Atrium, add a new suite of galleries, and provide a revitalized backdrop for how the Museum interacts with its patrons and visitors. Read more about our construction project.
Since 2017, the Museum’s craft collection has grown by nearly 200 objects, adding to our already substantial collection of over 900 works covering all media dating from the early part of the 20th century through the present. From early WNC residents—including Cherokee Indians and regional makers—to craft-related work from Black Mountain College (1933–1957), studio craft as exemplified by Penland School of Crafts, and today’s vibrant contemporary craft community, the Museum’s collection of fine handmade objects is a strong focus within our larger Collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries.
As the Museum returns to its newly renovated home, the curatorial team is creating exhibition space dedicated to craft and its collectors, as well as integrating craft within the reinstallation of the Museum’s Collection. Recent generous gifts from Judith & James Moore, John & Robyn Horn, and Dudley & Lisa Anderson have added locally and nationally renowned artists to the Collection that will allow us to tell more complete craft-centered stories. Upon reopening this spring, two of our core galleries are planned to feature these gifts: the Judith S. Moore Gallery will feature key works from the Moores’ studio glass collection, illustrating the movement’s history, while the Debra McClinton Gallery will focus more broadly on craft media including ceramics, wood arts, and metalwork.
The Windgate Curatorial Intern will aid curatorial staff in accomplishing critical tasks associated with new acquisitions, collections management, and exhibition of the Museum’s craft collection, including:
· Work with curatorial staff to perform all aspects of collections management, registration, and curatorial work relating to the influx of craft objects coming into the Collection, including unpacking, identifying, inventorying, photographing, researching, and cataloguing objects for files and EmbARK, the Museum’s collections management database.
· Work with curatorial staff to bring the craft collection online through Web Kiosk, our new publicly accessible interface with EmbARK. This includes preparing/uploading images and explanations of artistic media/processes; researching, developing, and uploading biographical materials; assigning keywords/search terms to craft object records; and researching/adding links to other websites for visitors to further explore craft artists, processes, and/or other related materials.
· Research craft objects from the existing Collection and/or new gifts to write gallery labels for gallery rotations and/or upcoming exhibitions such as Modernist Furniture from Bauhaus to Black Mountain (fall 2020).
· Curate an in-gallery exhibition focusing on the Museum’s craft collection that aligns with the glass-focused Judith S. Moore Gallery or the more broadly focused Debra McClinton Gallery. Research and implement at least one public program for adults and one docent-training session in conjunction with this exhibition.
· Work with education staff to research, prepare, conduct, transcribe, and edit 5-10 audio/video interviews with living craft artists in the Collection to add to the Museum’s website, social-media platforms, and/or in-gallery technology.
· Develop an understanding of collection-building and the Museum’s accession process by working with curatorial staff to research and prepare justifications for craft objects being considered for acquisition by the collections committee and/or the Collectors’ Circle.
From these experiences, the intern will enhance his/her knowledge of historic and contemporary craft, curatorial practice, educational theory and practice, art handling/exhibition development, object research, and arts management.
Eligibility/qualifications: Candidates must be current graduate or advanced undergraduate students (i.e. enrolled in an accredited program) majoring in art history, American art history, American history, craft history, interdisciplinary studies, material culture, or a related field with a demonstrated research interest in contemporary craft. Recent graduates (i.e. who have graduated no more than six months before the start of the internship) will also be considered. Candidates must have general art-historical knowledge, preferably in American art and material culture; strong research skills; and should be organized, proactive, and motivated. Excellent writing and computer skills are desired, particularly with digital media, spreadsheets, and databases. Experience with website content management systems, and/or audiovisual equipment/editing, is a plus. Candidates must be able to receive and report taxable income for the duration of the internship. Employees, contractors, and board members of the Center for Craft or Asheville Art Museum, and/or their immediate family members, are ineligible to apply, as are past recipients of a Windgate Museum Internship.
Work station: Curatorial center intern/volunteer computers; offsite as needed
Schedule: TBD with Museum staff, approximately 500 total hours (full time/40 hours per week in fall 2019 or spring 2020 semester, OR part time/20 hours per week in academic year 2019-2020)
Application instructions/deadline: No later than April 1, 2019, candidates should submit all required application materials for an internship at the Asheville Art Museum (more information at ashevilleart.org/about/careers/intern) as well as include the following additional information in their letter of interest:
1. Describe your background in art history, American art history, American history, craft history, interdisciplinary studies, material culture, or a related field
2. Describe research projects that you have undertaken that focus on studio craft/contemporary craft
3. Describe how your academic/research interests align with the Museum’s craft collection (ashevilleart.org/collection)
4. Describe what you hope to contribute during the Windgate Curatorial Internship
5. Describe how, as an emerging craft curator, the Windgate Curatorial Internship will help further your career goals
6. Indicate your availability to complete the Windgate Curatorial Internship: (a) full time in fall 2019 semester, OR (b) full time in spring 2020 semester, OR (c) part time in academic year 2019-2020
About Asheville Art Museum
Established by artists and incorporated in 1948, the Asheville Art Museum is committed to being a vital force in community and individual development and to providing lifelong opportunities for education and enrichment through the visual arts. The Museum presents a robust schedule of engaging exhibitions featuring American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Museum also offers a broad variety of innovative programs for all ages, including classes and workshops for adults, college students, children, and families; guided and group tours; concerts and performances; volunteer and docent programs; year-round and summer internship programs; film screenings; lectures and panel discussions; school and teacher programs; special events; and much more.