Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Intern Profile: Grace Christenson

---John Pentangelo, Curator/Registrar


Summer Intern Grace Christenson preparing a
WAVES officer coat to be photographed
 On August 12 the museum bid farewell to summer intern Grace Christenson. Grace arrived on board on June 6 and jumped in with both feet on a number of large curatorial projects. On the day she started, nine crates arrived containing the maps loaned by collector Henry Wendt for the traveling exhibit Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472-1700. Grace assisted in carefully removing all the maps, inspecting their condition and assigning loan numbers. She then registered the entire loan in the museum collections database and assisted in the installation of the exhibit.

Grace also conducted an inventory of the museum’s uniform and textile collection. She carefully photographed all of the textiles, sewed numbers on them with cloth labeling tape, and created new box numbers and locations in the database before re-packing them in acid free boxes with tissue paper. In addition to a number of registry projects in which Grace tackled the backlog of uncatalogued artifacts, she took on the mammoth task of cleaning and organizing one of the museum’s offsite storage rooms in Mahan Hall. During this process, Grace and curatorial volunteer Patricia McNamee, created accurate locations for 596 framed pieces, prints, and textiles in the museum database. Not only has she vastly improved the museum's ability to track artifacts electronically, she has made this particular storage room a more secure and stable environment for historic collections. She also conducted research using archival documents, old newspapers, and oral histories for current and future exhibit labels. Perhaps her most rewarding opportunity was her practicum in  "Rhode Islandese" given by our curator Bob Cembrola.


Grace, a Newport native who has grown up in a naval family, will be beginning her sophomore year at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She plans to graduate with a double major in history and business. We wish her the best in all of her endeavours and hope she'll come back to volunteer this winter!



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