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Interning At the Smithsonian

Katie Patschke - 2014 AAA Summer Intern

I couldn’t thank the American Anthropological Association’s member donations enough for this experience. At the Smithsonian Institution-National Museum of African Art I am just finishing up the research for the project creativity of work assigned to me by my coordinator, Dr. Kreamer. Dr. Kreamer is the Deputy Director and Chief Curator for the National Museum of African Art.  I intend to edit my findings and continue researching throughout the next few weeks. Dr. Kreamer and I had a conversation about the next step to the project which will include constructing a list of images that go along with the concept of work and that can be displayed in the exhibit. We intend to go into storage and find images, sculptures , and other pieces of art that will work with the project to tell the story of work and how it contributes to people’s everyday lives in Africa.

Dr. Kreamer and I were also able to discuss post-graduate opportunities with a possibility of me continuing to work with the Smithsonian Institute on other research projects after this experience.

National Museum of African Art

Last Wednesday I attended a meet and greet information meeting for Smithsonian interns where I met fellow Smithsonian employees. At the meeting they were able to give me insight and encouraged me to continue to pursue my passion of curatorial work with the intention of continuing my work with the Smithsonian.

Air Force Memorial

This Tuesday I attended an event offered to the African Art interns where we were given a personal tour of the museum and all of the hidden places that the museum had that weren’t open for public view. On the tour we were able to see the archives, the private collections, and the storage facilities where they keep all of the extra art. We met with workers to discuss the processes of woodwork and construction that goes into building packaging to ship artwork and how they build the sets that the artwork is displayed in in the museum. We also had the opportunity to talk to a curator who gave us a personal tour of Camille and Bill Cosby’s collection of artwork. The African Art museum is preparing for an opening in November that the Cosby’s are contributing many pieces of work too. We were given an inside look of the artwork that is about to be put on display. The artwork is fascinating. Their collection is truly inspiring and I encourage everyone to check out their art when the exhibit opens in November.

At my internship at the American Anthropological Association we are currently working on outlining essay and poster projects for students to become involved in. These projects will provide students the opportunity to present their research and build their resumes. These events will be surrounding the very first National Anthropology day which will be celebrated in February 2015.

Katie Patschke - 2014 AAA Summer Internship

Last weekend I went to the Newseum, the National Archives to see the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the Library of Congress where I used my library card access the bottom level and explore the vast collection of novels and articles. The following day I went on a hike at Riverbend Park and where I saw the great falls along the Potomac which separates Virginia and Maryland. After the hike I went to see the Pentagon and tried Vietnamese food. I really enjoyed adventuring around the area and I am looking forward to exploring more museums and parts of DC this weekend.

Riverbend Park

The AAA Summer Internship Program is funded entirely by AAA member donations. Make your contribution today!

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