The first half of my work day was filled with group intern activities, the head of retail affairs and a curator, Barbara Haskell, came to speak with us. The retail speaker was fine, she outlined the goals of the museum store, which are primarily to turn a profit and to support museum publications. The curator was really interesting, she focuses primarily on the time period of before the 1950s, though she does dabble a bit in the 1960s. Haskell got her start at a small museum in California, where, by a series of fortunate events, she became the sole curator. Eventually she ended up in New York and at the Whitney–and she only has her B.A, if you can believe it. She told us that she doesn’t see the need for a Ph.D. in art history if you want to go into contemporary art–obviously you need one if you are focusing on a more historical area. She was also emphasized the political aspects of being a curator: diplomacy, courting donors, courting lenders, maintaining relationships with other curators, etc. Haskell was friendly, honest, and willing to answer questions about her career and her time at the Whitney.
When Theresa and I went down to our office we discovered that Diana was out for the day, so we had a fairly relaxed second half of the work day. At one point I even made a quick run to 78th to pick up some macarons (some of best cookies ever) from Le Mason du Chocolat. Win.
Post work I went to the gym, ran home to eat and shower, and then went back out to meet up with Santosh and Brad for their weekly beer crawl: a gathering of people at a random bar every Thursday. Brad had selected a sports bar, The Press Box, as tonight’s locale to facilitate the watching of the NBA finals. My busy week, however, did not facilitate intense going-outage so I only stayed about an hour and a half.
This weekend promises to be extremely active and, as always, I promise to keep you informed of my comings and goings. In the meantime, I leave you with this article about the bizarre sight of lawn chairs in Times Square.