Hey! Let me introduce myself; I’m Lisa, a student in the master Kunst, Markt en Connaisseurschap (Art, Market and Connoisseurship). I was asked to tell something about my experiences in and around the university. We all have different stories and hereby I’m going to tell you mine!
It was the second year of my bachelor Media, Art, Design and Architecture that we went on a study trip to Florence. There I discovered a true passion for art, namely sixteenth and seventeenth century drawings and prints. I researched the fresco’s in the Brancacci Chapel in the Santa Maria Carmine and it became a sort of obsession of mine. This was the first time I was truly captured by an artwork and from there on I knew that I wanted to do everything to make it my career to work with these beautiful objects.
In my third year I followed a minor called Museum Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Here we discussed how objects should be exhibited, we discussed how an exhibition tell stories, sometimes unknowingly, and we talked about ways to read an exhibition. This was all very interesting, but I discovered that I missed the actual artwork. We were discussing everything around the work, but not the object itself. It is also important to know what you don’t want, so I have no regrets choosing this minor.
With the experience of the minor in my head, I was wondering if I would feel the same about working in a museum. I thought I wanted to work in an art museum, but maybe, just like the minor, it would not be exactly what I expected. So, with the help of my professor Daantje Meuwissen, I arranged an internship at the Amsterdam Museum, which was recently in the news for dismissing the term Golden Age. I learned that being an intern is extremely important, because only then you will know if this is something you want to do as a career. I discovered that I absolutely love to work in a team of people who are all passionate about art and that researching something is way more fun with people around you to brainstorm with. So when my internship ended, I kept working as a volunteer for the registrars in the museum, which helped my network a lot. Next to that, I am still working in the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. There I was working as an volunteer, when I got offered a job as a guard two years ago. You may think that you don’t want to do these jobs, because they are not immediately connected to art history, but it helped me with getting an internship at the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar!
I guess the point I’m trying to make is the following: to get where you really want to be, you have to work extra hard. Unfortunately in the art world that means a lot of volunteering, but only then will you build a network and get the experience needed for a ‘real’ job. And, also important, don’t be afraid to speak about what you want! My dream job is to be a curator of drawings and prints at the Telyers Museum or at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. So, this story you just read is just beginning and I’m very curious what the following years are going to bring me.
Studying prints in the depot of the Amsterdam Museum