Friday, August 16, 2013

Learning extends past the classroom at AGHC

Museum internships provide students hands-on, in-depth educational experiences which cannot be found in the classroom.  Over the past year the American Gothic House Center has been developing an internship program to provide these opportunities to help fulfill our educational mission.  The Center was privileged to have an intern as part of our team the past few months.  Amanda Baker, a student at Central College in Pella, Iowa, spent her summer immersed in the Center’s collections of artifacts, newspaper clippings, and photographs. 

The Center was able to receive a grant from the Wapello County Foundation to purchase a laptop, software, and scanner for Amanda to use during her time here.  With their assistance we were able to teach Amanda many new aspects of museum collection care and management.  She learned the ins and outs of museum software and helped add new artifacts to our database.  She also organized our archives and scanned old letters and newspaper clippings making them more accessible to researchers and historians.  Amanda said she especially enjoyed assisting with the installation of our new exhibit “Parodies of a Portrait:  An American Icon’s Place in Pop Culture.” 

Most importantly, Amanda was able to experience the daily operations of a museum and the fascinating job of working with a diverse public.  However, one aspect she did not enjoy was being on camera--somehow she always managed to disappear every time a television crew stopped by!  Luckily, we were able to at least take a few snapshots of her working in the collection.
The Center was fortunate to have Amanda’s help this Center and are excited to have her back during her winter break.  We also plan to continue developing our internship program and are arranging to have a social media intern this fall.

Holly Berg
American Gothic House Center

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