Introducing the Getty Interns

Pacific Asia Museum has been lucky to have two Getty interns for the past several years to learn more about our curatorial and collections departments. This year, Emily and Kelley have been hard at work helping us prepare for the many exhibitions we have slated for the rest of the year! We sat down with them to see how they’re doing so far.

PAM: So what’s your background?

E: I’m about to be a third-year at UCLA studying Art History with a possible minor in Anthropology.

K: I also was at UCLA. I just graduated a couple days ago, and my major was in Art History. I want to specialize in modern and contemporary South Asian Art, so this whole year will be dedicated to studying for the GRE and researching schools. And I’m definitely coming back after this internship, in any way I can!

PAM: What have you been working on so far?

K: In the curatorial department, we’ve been working on the database, modifying and editing the exhibition list [for 40 Years of Building the Pacific Asia Museum Collection], physically taking the objects into the exhibition space, and doing a lot of research for the labels– that’s been one of the most interesting things. I’ve especially enjoyed learning about Chinese foot binding and netsuke. I want to start my own netsuke collection– they’re such amazing little pieces and they’re all so different and creative.

E: I mostly help [our Registrar] Annie inventory and get things ready to be shipped, and today we’re doing condition reporting. I’m also working on the upcoming exhibition, pulling out the objects that will be in the show from basement storage.  What I really enjoy about this internship is that I’m not focused just on collections management. Kelley and I have both gotten to see both sides.

K: Our first day was actually inventory condition reporting, getting into storage and pulling out objects. I went home the first day thinking to myself “this is just awesome!” because it was so hands-on. When Bridget [our Curator] said in our interviews they were going to treat us like staff, she really meant it.

PAM: Why were you interested in coming to Pacific Asia Museum for your Getty internship?

E: What the museum stands for really drew me in. I come from a background where there wasn’t much ethnic diversity, so the chance to work with objects from the Pacific Asian region was really interesting to me. Also, there’s a Korean exhibition coming up that really drew me in.

K: I had visited here a few times and actually wrote papers on the museum itself. Beyond the Page and China Modern just blew me away– they’re both about specific fields that I’m so interested in. I attended a lecture at UCLA with Hammad Nasar [guest curator of Beyond the Page] and he talked all about the show and I went to see it the next day. There’s just not a lot of museums that cater to contemporary, non-Western art, and that’s why I really wanted to be here.

Emily and Kelley will be with us through mid-August, and we feel so lucky to have them! Their hard work will be on display on July 8 when 40 Years of Building the Pacific Asia Museum Collection opens. ~CM

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