Beverley Art Gallery continues to be an excellent resource for students and those looking for a career in the museums sector, and its collaboration with the University of York is now coming to fruition.
Over the lockdowns, the gallery hosted a digital placement of students from the University of York's Curating and Art History undergraduate course. The students spent several months in virtual meetings with the gallery curator and a number of other staff from across the council's museums team, archives service, and the press office. This enabled them to learn about the variety of jobs available across the culture and heritage sectors. The students then carried out independent research of the gallery collections, with the aim of curating an online exhibition of their own.
The first such project has just gone live on the East Riding Museums Online website. It was curated by student Sarah Burton and the exhibition brings together paintings and objects from the gallery's fine art and social history collections, discovering unexpected connections between the two.
Beverley Art Gallery curator Helena Cox said: "I am so proud of Sarah for completing this online exhibition and absolutely delighted to be working with the students on their exciting projects. This is truly a win-win situation: the students get practical experience of museums work, engaging with collections, and the gallery benefits in the form of online exhibitions and brilliant research conducted by the students.
"Sarah has done amazing work with this exhibition. She researched both our art and social history collections, and found fascinating links between paintings and objects. Her exhibition really opened my eyes to the beauty and symbolism of some of the objects portrayed on the much loved paintings from our collection. I am certain Sarah will be an excellent asset to the sector and that she has a brilliant career ahead of her!"
Sarah Burton said : "Working with Beverley Art Gallery has been an incredible experience which allowed me to gain a detailed understanding of how the Art Gallery operates. It was wonderful to be able to see how the theoretical knowledge we are taught at university applies in a workplace.
"I am extremely grateful to Helena for facilitating the placement and allowing me to experience the full process of curating an online exhibition and that I had the opportunity to learn from her extensive knowledge of the sector. It has been an extremely rewarding process and I hope people enjoy looking at the exhibition."
Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein from the Art History department at the University of York said : "It has been a great privilege for our Curating and History of Art students to work with Helena at Beverley Art Gallery and meet other professional staff of the East Riding Museums.
"At the university, our students study the principles of how to interpret museum objects, but it's only through working closely with a specific collection, and receiving expert guidance from curators like Helena, that they learn how to turn ideas into practice. We are delighted that Sarah's online exhibition is now live, and we hope it will be the first of many!"
Beverley Art Gallery will be hosting another cohort of students from the university in the next academic year.
Sarah's exhibition is available on the East Riding Museums Online website: https://www.eastridingmuseums.co.uk/museums-online/objects-in-paint/
Explore all the online exhibitions from across the East Riding Museums collections and temporary shows here: https://www.eastridingmuseums.co.uk/museums-online/
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