Khristaan Villela Appointed Director of Santa Fe Museum
Wed. October 12, 2016
Inaugural Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Intern Thomas Edwards Spends Summer as Curatorial Fellow
Fri. September 9, 2016
With the generous help of the Tom and Charlene Marsh Family Foundation, Thomas Edwards (M.A. Art History, 2016) was the first University of Texas at Austin graduate selected to intern with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Over the course of the inaugural internship program, Edwards gained experienced as a curatorial fellow, working to organize the museum’s incredible research archives that serve as host to reviews and critical essays written about O’Keeffe, from 1916 to the present. “Under Curatorial Director Cody Hartley, who entrusted me with great autonomy while guiding me with meticulous care, I completed challenging projects that fostered in me a confidence and self-sufficiency with museum work that I will carry for the rest of my career,” Edwards writes.
Additionally, he updated this collection, honing in on articles written between 1916 and 1970 that enhanced and complicated the understanding of O’Keeffe’s critical reception. Edwards writes, “I gathered popular features written about O’Keeffe during her lifetime, obtained copies of the original publications, and began a long-term project to insert these magazines into the gallery space, offering visitors exciting contextual frameworks for O’Keeffe’s paintings and public image.”
As a separate endeavor, Edwards spent much of the summer developing the research and writing a proposal for a forthcoming exhibition narrating O’Keeffe’s excursions to Glen Canyon and the Colorado River in the 1960s, before and during its contested damming. This period, these trips and their associated stories, became especially relevant to Edwards’ work because O’Keeffe made some of her last paintings and charcoal drawings during this time.
“Opportunities like these, to work hands-on with collections and direct original research, are nearly unheard of in the category of internships and entry-level museum work,” Edwards remarked. “and as such the three months provided experience normally only available upon years of entry-level labor.”
To read more about his experience, visit the O’Keeffe museum blog.