HARTFORD, CT, August 1, 2012 – A student probably has a better chance of winning the lottery than being awarded a prestigious paid internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. And yet, out of more than 700 applicants, Margaret-Anne Logan ’13 was one of 40 chosen, and one of only six selected for the museum’s Summer Mentoring Program.
But the lottery is based on luck. In the case of Logan, a Presidential Scholar, winning the internship and qualifying for the mentoring program had nothing to do with serendipity; her selection was based on intelligence, talent, writing ability and hard work, all of which she has exhibited during her three years at Trinity.
Logan wasn’t sure about a major or career path when she first arrived at Trinity from Patchogue, N.Y. But a class that she took in the fall of her sophomore year – Art History 102 taught by Jean Cadogan, professor of fine arts, and Alden Gordon, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts – set her on a course for which she says she has no regrets. Logan decided to major in art history, with a minor in French, a logical choice given that she spent the fall of 2011 studying in Paris.
Growing up on Long Island, Logan had visited the Met many times before. But serving in the internship and mentoring programs has been an “unbelievable experience,” very different than her work on the Fire Island ferry, where she had spent the previous six summers.
“It was a wonderful job, but it was time for me to find something more professional. Museums seemed like a natural place to look,” Logan said, adding that her Met internship has been enlightening. “The more I learn about the Met, the more I’m completely in awe of it. It works like clockwork. I’ve gained valuable insights into how a monumental museum keeps running.”
According to the museum, its Summer Mentoring Program is designed to encourage rising college seniors “from diverse backgrounds to pursue museum careers by offering a dynamic and hands-on introduction to the daily operations of one of the world’s largest museums. Each intern is assigned to a department where he or she works closely with a supervisor on special and ongoing projects, and is also assigned a staff member outside of the department who serves as his or her mentor.”
As part of the well-rounded program, the interns give tours twice a week and are required to complete a research project and work at the information desk.
Logan began her full-time stint at the Met in early June and will complete her assignment in mid-August. She’s working in the Drawings and Prints curatorial department doing research for upcoming exhibitions, as well as doing catalog work. Her supervisor is Perrin Stein, a curator and French art scholar.
Of the tours that Logan gives, one is a Museum Highlights tour and the other is a Special Topics tour, which targets a specific field of art history. It was up to Logan to choose the themes and objects for her tours. Her mentor is Mike Sittenfeld, who works in the museum’s Editorial Department.
“I meet with him once a week to discuss my experiences at the museum and any questions I may have about the program or museum work in general,” said Logan. “I believe part of the reason he was assigned as my mentor is that during my interview, I mentioned my interest in writing.”
The theme of Logan’s Highlights tour is “Heavenly Women,” which largely deals with angels, goddesses, the Virgin Mary and an Egyptian pharaoh. The Special Topics tour looks at industrialism in 19th-century France and features paintings by Honore Daumier, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne. The number of visitors on the tours has ranged from 15 to 40.
“My focus is on getting the public to engage in the art and to engage in a dialog,” Logan said. “On my tours, I ask a lot of questions. Usually I have a lot of people who are very interested. It’s a great way for me to learn as well.”
Logan didn’t have a lot of time to get her application submitted before the deadline. Upon her return from Paris, she learned of the Met’s internship program and realized that she had to quickly write three 300 to 500 word essays, acquire two faculty recommendations and get her transcript sent in.
“I figured it was a long shot,” she said. “If I get it, I get it.”
In February, Logan was told that she had been selected for an interview, which included a 10-minute presentation on any piece of art. She turned to Mary Lewis, a visiting professor of fine arts at Trinity, who suggested a painting by Cezanne, Mont Sainte Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley.”
Logan researched the painting and gave her presentation, which she felt was received very well. Obviously, it was, because in April Logan was informed that she had been awarded the prestigious mentoring internship. Logan said she probably will write her senior thesis on Cezanne and the landscape painting.