i don’t think i could ever get sick of walking up these steps.
every weekday (and some weekends) i wake up, take the 4 or 5 line to 86 St then walk across to 5th avenue. and every morning, i seem to be even more exhausted and drained than the last. but when your walk to work includes seeing lines of people patiently awaiting hours before the museum even opens, it perks you up better than a shot of espresso.
my internship at the Met has been both physically and mentally challenging, yet completely rewarding. within the first two weeks, we met with curators and educators of every department from Art of the Ancient Near East to Modern and Contemporary Art. it was unbelievable meeting and hearing from the best of the best in each specific field. i found myself learning so much about topics that i never thought i would have interest in. (if you ever want to learn about slit gongs from oceania, hit me up).
in addition, each intern is responsible for designing two guided tours to the public. the first incorporates the “highlights” or most well known works at the Met. out of a list of 115 or so items, each intern picks 6-8 works with a theme linking them all together (mine is “the working woman found in art”).
the other tour is an open-ended special topics tour in which any works can be chosen to develop a very specialized tour of our own interests (mine is entitled “European Art through the Five Senses”).
i found this process to be at first daunting, and now utterly empowering. i appreciate that the Met doesn’t spoonfeed us a list of “top hits” that must be included in every tour, but instead gives us the leeway to design very personal, individualized tours. every tour you get at the Met will be completely different from the next because it has been carefully tailored by that tour guide through hours (and hours) of thought, consideration, and immense research.
some of my best moments at the Met so far have been:
- meeting all of my fellow interns and realizing that we genuinely like each other (you never know with art folk)
- seeing the alexander mcqueen exhibit early one morning by myself (so scary, yet so stunningly genius). i must say i never understood how moving fashion could be, until i saw this.
- having a visitor ask me how to get out of the museum. and me actually knowing!
- rediscovering just how lucky i was to finally listen to my heart and follow my passion, art.
so if you ever find yourself at the Met this summer, let me know. you will find yourself on a tour with me around the museum, whether you’re willing or not.