Arts Intern–Memphis: Experiencing Arts Careers

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Lindsey Roark, a business management major at the University of Memphis, spent the past summer as a Collection Intern at the Metal Museum in Memphis, where she learned how to handle and store artwork as part of her assigned project to catalog and condition the museum’s Kenneth Lynch Tool Collection.

Lindsey says the experience helped sharpen her research and writing skills, which proved especially useful in tracking down a tool collector’s reference book in French that enabled her to identify a specialty goldsmithing tool in the Lynch Collection.

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Some additional sleuthing—based on a review of old correspondence between the museum’s founding director and Mr. Lynch—led to the discovery that certain pieces in the collection that were presumed missing, had in fact, been shipped to different departments within the museum over thirty years ago.

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She also had an opportunity to observe firsthand how museum collection committees function and to experience the process for soliciting acquisitions—from identifying prospective pieces to evaluating their value to the permanent collection.

Lindsey especially enjoyed meeting and speaking with professionals in the art field, as well as being able to assist in a gallery installation for an exhibition of metal sculpture by artist Monica Coyne.

The internship enabled her to “gain a deeper understanding of the Metal Museum operations and what happens behind the scenes of a museum. This experience has solidified my desire to work in the art museum field.”

Reflecting on the impact of her summer position as an Arts Intern in Memphis, Lindsey noted, “Overall it was a wonderful internship, and I treasured every second of it. I’m heartbroken that I won’t be coming to work next Monday; it’s taught me a lot of things that will carry over into my professional and personal life.”

Read more about Lindsey’s summer experience at the Metal Museum in her blog post.

Learn more about the Arts Intern Program.