Update from Katelyn at the National Museum of African Art
This week once again was full of wonderful experiences. Dr. Chris Kreamer and I went through the remaining material for the focus group and then walked through the gallery to discuss placement of various artifacts and the general layout of the display.
On Wednesday, we held the focus group that I had been preparing for last week. A group of about eight students came and participated in a two-hour discussion about Ethiopia and the art that we are thinking about including in the show next September. Their vast knowledge and insight blew me out of the water.
First off, it is important to point out that this task was completely voluntary, the students were not obligated or required in any way to participate. Yet their willingness to share ideas and in return learn as much as they could from Chris and I was astounding. A discussion I originally thought would just cover basic aesthetic observations turned into a debate on word choices, historical events, religious affiliations, and language. The students discussed the obvious influences within the images, both in style and religious symbolism, from areas of Europe. They took notice to the depth of the paintings, symbols, metaphors, and even the Ethiopian script, Ge’ez. We ended the conversation discussing the layout of the exhibit, colors for the walls, and interactive elements to include within the show to make it more appealing to all audiences. Overall, it was a very productive event!
I ended the week as a bit of a tourist. On Friday I attended the National Geographic Indiana Jones Exhibit. As an archaeologist and Indiana lover my anticipation for the exhibit was rather high. However, the exhibit surpassed every one of my expectations. It was educational, yet movie focused. It shed light on the realities of archaeology while still being fun and lighthearted.
Over the weekend I went paddle boating in the Tidal Basin by the Jefferson memorial. It was a lot of fun, allowed for some beautiful views of the city, and satisfied my adventurous spirit. I even saw a fish jump in the water right in front of our boat!
This internship has been a wonderful experience. I’ve truly gotten to know Washington DC not only as a professional but also as a tourist. AAA has opened so many doors to new experiences and opportunities. I am only beginning to see where they will lead me and what my next steps in life will be.
Update from Emily at the Naval History and Heritage Command
Smooth sailing this week! I have been tasked with translating the Sunken Military Craft Act (SMCA), a prickly piece of legislation, into a series of brochures and informational reference cards for the general public. Specifically the diving, boating, and (fear not my fellow archaeologists!) researching communities.
I have really enjoyed working with Adobe Illustrator and digging into the legal jargon. I believe that the SMCA is an important law that will protect our nautical history and heritage and ensure respect for the final resting place of our servicemen and women who have died at sea. It really is a pretty simple piece of legislation, not counting the permitting process for researchers, but it is going to require a bit of doing to teach the diving community exactly how it applies to them and how important it is for them to follow it.
Wish me luck on my last week!