Intern Insights: Summer 2022

Nine people posing in front of the white Guggenheim Museum building
Out and about: A group of the Frick’s summer 2022 interns during a visit to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

This summer, The Frick Collection hosted a talented and enthusiastic group of interns across eight museum and library departments. We posed five questions to the interns about their takeaways from the Frick, their favorite experiences, and their new knowledge about the arts and culture field. Read some of their lively responses below.

Explore more content in a blog post about a digitization project four library interns completed this summer, as well as in our education intern video series, Closer Look.

Learn about our internship program and find postings for future internship opportunities on our Careers page.

What was your favorite intern activity?

My favorite intern activity was the visit to Sotheby’s, where we got a tour of the Old Master department by current staff, which included a previous Frick intern! We got to learn more about working in an auction house and how institutions like Sotheby’s rely on the resources of the Frick Art Reference Library and other museums and libraries.
—Kassandra Ibrahim, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

The intern scavenger hunt was a big hit!
—Andersson Perry, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

My favorite activity was probably the visit to the Center for Book Arts. We were given a tour of the facility, shown some of their special collections, and got to learn about letterpress printing. We were even able to use the printing press to make prints to take home!
—Emma Powell, Access Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

One of my favorites was also the visit to Sotheby’s to view Old Master paintings. The representatives were incredibly generous with their time, sharing their own background and what their jobs entail. An afternoon at Sotheby’s proved an interesting comparison to museum work and a privileged introduction to the inner workings of the private art market.
—Maggie McCutcheon, Library Administration Intern

A young man and woman holding sheets of paper and pointing at a large oil painting of a woman lounging in a forest again a column topped with a figure of Cupid
A Fragonard find: Locating The Progress of Love: Reverie during an intern scavenger hunt through Frick Madison

If you were giving a tour of Frick Madison, which gallery would you make sure to visit?

A must-see at Frick Madison is the Vermeer gallery. There are only about thirty-four paintings unanimously attributed to Vermeer, and the Frick has three of his iconic genre scenes. The canvases are quite small, but their placement at Frick Madison really allows you to get close and appreciate all the details you may not normally see.
—Emma Powell, Access Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

I have a particular love of James McNeill Whistler’s truly avant-garde portraits, with their singular use of color, perspective, and scale. So I would have to take my tour up to the fourth floor to see his works. The way that the curators chose to arrange the Whistlers in juxtaposition with the British portraiture gallery should spark a lively conversation.
—Amy Fleming, Content Cluster Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

It would definitely be the porcelain room on the third floor. The curators’ decision to present these beautiful objects by giving them their own autonomy, separate from paintings, is something I love about Frick Madison. The way they are presented is both terrifying (not behind any glass) and fascinating.
—Andersson Perry, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

The porcelain room (cautiously).
—Besmira Rraci, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

Group of nine people posing for a photo in front of a large mounted dinosaur skeleton
(Very) Old Masters: A visit with Suz Massen, Associate Chief Librarian, Access (second from left), to Sotheby’s, where interns toured the Old Master department and viewed other items, including a rare Gorgosaurus skeleton

What song or music best encapsulates the Frick to you?

The type of music that best encapsulates the Frick is classical music bands that cover popular modern songs, because the collection is so old but the way it is displayed and how the museum operates is so current. It is a beautiful symphony of past and present.
—Claire Zehnith, Communications & Marketing Intern

“Scarborough Fair/Canticle” by Simon & Garfunkel, for so many reasons. It has lyrical references to English history, war, turmoil and violence, love and romance, colors and botany, religion, spirituality, and mystery. I see many of the same motifs within the museum’s collection. Also, both Simon & Garfunkel and The Frick Collection are New York City cultural icons.
—Andersson Perry, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

The entire soundtrack of Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette best encapsulates the Frick to me. The soundtrack combines classical period music from the eighteenth century with modern pop and rock, which I think is an excellent companion to the Frick, a collection of stunning works of art from bygone eras that manages to still be immensely relevant today.
—Amy Fleming, Content Cluster Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

Six people in face masks posing for a photo holding large paper prints with the initials CBA
Hot off the presses: Frick interns pose with prints during a visit to the Center for Book Arts

What is your favorite work in the collection?

Grace Dalrymple Elliott by Thomas Gainsborough. I spent a lot of time with her for my object talk. She seems very sweet, and I wish we could have a conversation.
—Besmira Rraci, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

Sir Thomas Lawrence’s famed painting Julia, Lady Peel caught my eye during a tour of the collection. Lady Peel exudes a controlled and effortless confidence, yet the painting maybe also hints at a touch of grief in her deep eyes. Her direct gaze pierces the viewer among the extravagant red feathers that surround her face. I felt myself caught under her spell, just as many were in 1827 when Lawrence first exhibited the portrait.
—Maggie McCutcheon, Library Administration Intern

My favorite in the collection is of course the Fragonard room! I really enjoyed the addition of the Fragonard painting on display at Frick Madison that was not shown at the Frick’s home at 1 East 70th Street.
—Kassandra Ibrahim, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

I have to cheat a bit here and name two works: the Holbein portraits of Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. Not only are these portraits sumptuous in their details and masterful in their portrayal of unique individuals, but Henry Clay Frick’s “reuniting” of these two sworn enemies—forcing them into an eternal conversation—is a wonderful example of what is so special about collections such as the Frick, which reflect the idiosyncrasies (and sense of humor) of their originators.
—Amy Fleming, Content Cluster Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

My favorite works in the collection are the three Vermeer paintings. I studied Vermeer a lot during my undergraduate studies, and getting to work with and see these paintings in person every day was just such a special honor.
—Claire Zehnith, Communications & Marketing Intern

Three people in face masks posing for a selfie in front of a bright orange wall labeled with the hashtag #FrickMadison
Say cheese: Another stop on the intern scavenger hunt—posing for a selfie at the #FrickMadison photo wall

What is your biggest takeaway from your internship?

Not only were interns well supported throughout our time at the Frick, but such wonderful tours and events were planned that allowed me to see how The Frick Collection is embedded within New York City’s cultural landscape. Colleagues at the Frick made it easy to get access, ask questions, and follow each of our own career and academic interests.
—Maggie McCutcheon, Library Administration Intern

You have something to offer wherever you go!
—Besmira Rraci, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

My biggest takeaway from my internship at the Frick is that there are so many opportunities to support museums in various capacities, depending on one’s skill set.
—Kassandra Ibrahim, Ayesha Bulchandani Undergraduate Education Intern

I was struck by the Frick’s efforts to provide interns with a glimpse at a variety of opportunities available within the arts. Given this, I am leaving the Frick with a renewed certainty that I will be able to find my niche in the sector, be it in a museum, a gallery, an art library, or an auction house.
—Amy Fleming, Content Cluster Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

I have learned so much throughout my time at the Frick. One of my key takeaways is just how many resources the Frick Art Reference Library provides to the public. Having been trained for the reference desk, I was constantly impressed with the size of the collection and the growing initiatives the library continues to pursue. It is definitely a hidden gem for research in New York!
—Emma Powell, Access Intern, Frick Art Reference Library

My biggest takeaway from this internship has been learning the ins and outs of how press relations operate in a cultural institution like the Frick. It has really shown me the significance and impact that communications can have on an audience in terms of bringing access to information and knowledge to the public.
—Claire Zehnith, Communications & Marketing Intern

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