Today is the last day of my Getty-sponsored internship; I’ve been so busy, it’s only just now that I have time to sit and write a blog post. I’ll give a little background on me: I’ve loved art history since taking it in high school (my teacher was Scripps alum Debra Hunt). I’m also interested in economics and accounting—I actually started my Getty internship a few days late because I was taking a three-week accounting intensive at CMC—and I want to continue my studies in these fields. As the Collections and Conservation intern, my main responsibilities this summer have been to index our photograph collection, work with staff to accession a recent gift of Japanese hair ornaments from the Riffenburgh family, publicize upcoming events at the Gallery on online event calendars, and update the art conservation page on our WordPress website. The other interns and I have also been lucky enough to speak with professionals in a wide range of art-related careers (conservation, law, advancement, education, and writing, among others) and visit museums and institutions like LACMA, the Getty Villa and Getty Center, the Hammer, and the Norton Simon.
Because this is my first summer in LA and I don’t have a car here, I’ve really appreciated the chance to see what exactly the area offers in terms of culture and entertainment. The day that we visited the LACMA for a retrospective on James Turrell’s work, I learned about Friday night Jazz Night; when I attended the Getty Intern Summit at the Getty Center, I learned about shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Theater. Going on field trips with a group has familiarized me with the area and given me the confidence to start exploring on my own. Sara and Steven, two fellow interns and SoCal natives, have told me about so many restaurants and places to visit that I’ve started a keeping a list of their recommendations on my computer. (I can feel my heart dancing at the thought of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Porto’s Cuban guava and cream cheese pastries, and Kikiryki Peruvian food.)
I am so grateful to have been able to spend my summer here and have already recommended the internship to others—and not just because of the awesome Keurig coffee machine and wonderful field trips. As a rising sophomore, I’m still early on in my academic career. I haven’t declared my major or decided if I will study abroad yet (though I’m certain art history will figure significantly in my studies); and applying to grad school, narrowing down a specific career path in the arts, and writing my thesis still feel like the distant future. But as a result of my internship, I gained practical skills and a wider perspective. I know from direct conversation with an art lawyer that one can shape a law career around compromise and peaceful resolution instead of strong-armed conflict; I learned that Geneva is one of the most expensive places for studying abroad and the Sotheby’s Institute is coming to CGU this fall; and I realized the field of art appraisal unites my interests in economics, accounting, and art history. In the midst of uncertainty, the sense of direction and purpose I gained from working at the Williamson Gallery was an unqualified blessing.
I would like to offer special thanks to Colleen, Kirk, and Mary for their accessibility, support, and interest in my personal and professional development throughout my internship. I look forward to taking more art history and economics classes during my time in Claremont, participating in the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program again, and perhaps searching for an internship in art appraisal.
-Jasmine Kusumowidagdo, Getty Summer Intern in Collections and Conservation, SCR ’16