By Joy Li • December 3, 2018

Joy Whitney Intern Life

The Whitney Museum of American Art Intern Life

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Every time I look out the window, I see boats sailing across the river and glance at a beautiful view of New Jersey.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new Whitney building is situated between The High Line and Hudson River. It’s hard to express how excited I am to have the opportunity to intern at the Whitney Museum. When the sun sets, the site is extraordinarily beautiful.

I am honored to work for the first museum to dedicate to the work of living American artists and video artists. The Whitney has encouraged and inspired so many artists and art historians, including myself.

I am working for the Rights and Reproductions Department under the Publications. When there’s no preparation for any exhibitions, I spend my time cataloging negative photos of installation views and artworks that were taken from the 1960s-1970s.

My job also includes arranging invoices and citing published reproductions that are used for record-keeping in our library. At the same time, I attend curator and artist talks every month. These experiences are valuable resources for me to learn more about the world of contemporary art.

Seeing the process of artworks being installed in an exhibition was my most exciting experience. Since 1989 the Whitney is the first US institution to open with an Andy Warhol retrospective. It opened to the public the semester I’m interning. I had the pleasure of working on the exhibit, called Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again.

During the installation process, I assisted the photographer to condition photos on the main exhibition gallery. Each department: Exhibitions, Exhibition Design and Construction, Audio Visual, Registration and Cataloguing, Art Handling and Curatorial brought the exhibit together as a team.

From messy rooms with wooden boxes all around the floor to great exhibition spaces, the progress we made in two weeks is so impressive that a feeling of proudness raised from my heart - even if I did not directly participate in the curation.

There are so many things to learn and art to see at the Whitney, and every moment I spent there become an unforgettable memory.

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Written by Joy Li