Guest post by Greta Galeotti
When I saw the opportunity to work as an intern at the Museum of Cycladic Art, I immediately leaped at the chance to learn more about its permanent collection of Cycladic artwork, as well as to experience the inner workings of a museum in the preparation of the upcoming exhibition “Kállos.” While my academic focus is on the history of the Greek language and its dialects, I have cultivated an interest in the wider cultural factors that contribute to our understanding of how language changes, maintaining an interest above all in art history and Aegean archaeology. Therefore, I was keen on collaborating with the Museum of Cycladic Art to discover its artifacts and fascinated by an upcoming exhibition which focuses on an eternal and yet extremely current theme, that of Beauty.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this internship was remote. Despite the obvious drawback of not being able to visit Athens and the Museum in person, I thought that these circumstances were especially interesting for a museum internship, for the pandemic has certainly been a crucial historical moment for these institutions. It was truly amazing to get sneak peeks of the upcoming exhibition, due to open in the fall, and realize the number of artifacts, scholars, and institutions that come together to make such a project possible. The Museum and the program’s coordinators were also incredibly helpful and flexible in accommodating the difference in time and space of our locations, to make this experience as easy and meaningful for me despite the external constraints.
Due to the circumstances, the five-week internship focused on one main project, which was participating in the development of the catalogue for the “Kállos” exhibition. It was amazing seeing it grow from its earliest stages, so much so that, while I worked in English, in some parts it was still the Modern Greek version, which allowed me to get exposure to a language I would love to continue studying. Collating the bibliography for each artifact allowed me to go through the list of pictures and descriptions of each item to be exhibited, which was quite an interesting way of immersing myself in the exhibition, despite it being virtual. The other side of the project was the copy-editing of the various articles that will enrich and make up the rest of the catalogue. This allowed me to really immerse myself in the concept the exhibition explores, seeing it from a plurality of angles and through the voices of many distinguished and creative scholars. I particularly enjoyed learning more about cosmetics and found particularly interesting how gender fit in the research on the representation of beauty in ancient times, which shifted considerably through time.
I am very grateful I got to enjoy this great experience, and I am so looking forward to coming to Athens in the future and to hopefully catch a glimpse of the exhibition in person, and definitely to visit the Museum!
Greta Galeotti is a PhD candidate in Classical Philology at Harvard University. With a background in Classics and Linguistics, she is interested in the development of the Greek language, particularly how its different dialects evolved and the sociolinguistic connotations of their use.
Museum of Cycladic Art Summer Internship
This 5-week program for Harvard students is meant to familiarize interns with the activities performed in a museum environment, and to provide high-quality professional training. The interns work in collaboration with curators, museum educators, and communication experts. Find out more about this internship opportunity in the Museum of Cycladic Art Summer Internship webpage.