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Decorative Arts Trust Announces Recipients of IDEAL Internship Grants

Posted in on site, opportunities, resources by Editor on March 17, 2021

Press release (9 March 2021) from The Decorative Arts Trust:

Samuel Whitehorne House (1811), Newport, Rhode Island. Newport Restoration Foundation bought the Federal period brick mansion in 1969. Five years later, it was opened as a public museum dedicated to 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts.

The Decorative Arts Trust is pleased to announce that the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel University; The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Backstreet Cultural Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Newport Restoration Foundation are the inaugural recipients of IDEAL Internship Grants.

Part of the Trust’s growing Emerging Scholars Program, IDEAL Internships focus on inclusivity, diversity, equity, access, and leadership. Internship grants are awarded to non-profit institutions and require a strong mentorship component.

“The Decorative Arts Trust is striving to improve access to curatorial careers for students of color as a path toward achieving systemic change,” Trust Executive Director Matthew Thurlow states. “These partners were selected based on the impact of the internship, which will offer students experience and stipends while providing the host organizations the opportunity to continue meaningful discussions about inclusion, diversity, and equity.”

Drexel University is stewarding the collection of the former Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, which closed in 2018. Drexel’s Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships is conducting a multiyear evaluation of the Atwater Kent Collection of over 133,000 works of art and other objects. The intern will focus on exhibitions highlighting little-known objects for galleries at the Peck Alumni Center and the Pearlstein Gallery.

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC), in partnership with the Backstreet Cultural Museum, seeks an intern to further the study and preservation of Mardi Gras Indian suits. The intern will catalog a newly acquired suit, document its history by interviewing the artist, plan a permanent storage solution, prepare the suit for display in an upcoming exhibition, and write an article for an online publication.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston intern will focus on a gallery reinstallation project that explores the connections between art, modern design, and jazz in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The intern will assist with object research, develop interpretive text, lead gallery tours, and host programs to engage a range of communities with the project.

The Newport Restoration Foundation will hire an intern to analyze their collection of 18th-century furniture at the Whitehorne House Museum. The intern will work with the interpretive staff to address the absences of African-Heritage craftspeople (both enslaved and free) as well as Narragansett peoples in Colonial-era Newport’s material culture.

The Decorative Arts Trust is a non-profit organization that promotes and fosters the appreciation and study of the decorative arts through exchanging information through domestic and international programming; collaborating and partnering with museums and preservation organizations; and underwriting internships, research grants, and scholarships for graduate students and young professionals. Learn more about the Trust at decorativeartstrust.org.

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