My name is Andrew and I am a full-time student studying for an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies. I have a keen interest in nineteenth and twentieth century history and especially enjoy institutions or art galleries that exhibit such topics. My placement took place at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. This institution focuses on the fight for democracy over the last two centuries and the struggles that so many have faced to fight against inequality. I chose to undertake this placement for two main reasons. The first was that I was already a keen admirer of the museum and had visited several times since it reopened in 2010. It is a museum that has values that I believe in so the choice to choose it was not a difficult one. The second was that the role of Exhibition Researcher sounded interesting and something that I use progressing forward.
My main responsibility whilst working there was researching some of the upcoming exhibitions that would be taking place during the year and into 2018. Of course, as museums are such dynamic and vibrant places to work, my role was not limited to research. Under the leadership of my supervisor, Mark, I was able to gain a wide knowledge of practical expertise that are vital to the installation of exhibitions. This is something that, often, student placements at other institutions do not have the privilege of doing. As already mentioned, my practical work ranged from how to handle and mount objects, meeting with designers and community curators, digitising posters and label writing.
I believe that the museum appreciated the work that I created during my placement. I have been a credit on their ‘Never Going Underground’ recognition board, see right, and I shall be placed as a credit on an upcoming exhibition that will be about Communism in Britain during the mid-twentieth century and the wider impact it had on society through art. As a placement student, the feeling of appreciation and satisfaction that you receive when your work has been fed into an exhibition that has taken months to create is one that makes the work worthwhile. The People’s History Museum values its staff and volunteers greatly and acknowledges their input and how important they are.
I enjoyed my placement at the People’s History Museum and would highly recommend choosing this module to future students of this course. Gaining experience is vital for people who would like to enter the sector and build a career.