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UK Student Interning at Metropolitan Museum

By Terrance Wade

(July 9, 2015) — University of Kentucky student Elizabeth Glass is participating in a highly competitive internship at the Cloisters Museum and Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this summer.

A native of Lexington, the art history and visual studies/museum studies senior who is also working toward a minor in German, began applying for summer internships over the past winter break. She applied to such museums as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Guggenheim in New York City, and the Seattle Art Museum. Glass didn't let the competitiveness of these internships keep her from applying, and to her surprise was granted an interview to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the one that she wanted most. She interviewed with the museum's senior medieval research associate in March and was offered an internship in the medieval department of the Cloisters Museum soon after.

The specific qualifications required for the Metropolitan's medieval internship are a working knowledge of the German language and graphic design skills. Glass, who possessed these skills, was a great fit. Before moving to Lexington to finish her undergraduate degree, she lived in New York City for five years working various jobs and attending various schools. Her knowledge of the city likely worked to her advantage as well.

At the Metropolitan, Glass will mainly work at the Cloisters giving tours focusing on reliquaries (containers for holy relics) that are currently on display, as well as helping maintain and expand the department’s collection database. She is also hoping to have the opportunity to spend time with some of the works that are not on display to do some research of her own for next semester’s courses. This will be her first real experience as a tour guide.

"Even though I am so excited for my internship this summer, I am more excited about the opportunities that will be available for me after my time at the Met is finished," Glass said. "I started out only applying so I could say that I did, not expecting anything to come of it and ended up with the opportunity of a lifetime. This just goes to show that nothing bad can come from taking a chance and reaching for something you believe to be out of your reach, because you never know what will happen in the end."

The art history/museum studies student interned at the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky with curator Janie Welker during the spring semester. She did everything from writing labels and formatting checklists to helping install the "Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky" exhibition on display now and decorating the museum for its annual fundraiser Art in Bloom.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studio, art history and visual studies, and art education.  

Also part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the mission of the Art Museum at UK is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection.