Brittany Rubin '15 MA
Print Room Curatorial Assistant, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
During my years at UMass, I was constantly challenged academically to grow into the best art historian I could become. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by Dr. Sonja Drimmer, who inspired me to view the discipline of medieval art history in new and innovative ways. Dr. Gulru Cakmak and Dr. Tim Rohan encouraged me to delve into the fields of 19th century art and 20th century architecture, respectively, which made me a more well-rounded scholar. Dr. Craig Harbison indulged my interest in print theory by organizing a yearlong print practicum actually held in museum print rooms. At UMass, I had the opportunity to serve as teaching assistant for four semesters, organize the annual Roskill symposium with my cohort, and supervise two UMass undergraduates as they mounted a show at the University Museum of Contemporary Art. I am extremely grateful for the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience that I gained during my years at UMass.
After I graduated from UMass, I received a Kress fellowship at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, which segued into my current position as the Johnson’s Print Room Curatorial Assistant. At the Johnson, I am frequently able to employ the knowledge and experience from graduate school in a museum setting. When I curate shows of early modern works on paper, I often engage with themes that were introduced to me at UMass. My UMass teaching assistantships gave me the practical skills to teach art historical concepts to Cornell students. When conducting Nazi-era provenance research, I always begin the process by consulting notes from UMass classes to ensure that I have a working knowledge of the artist or style in question. UMass has proved to be an essential part of my scholarly and professional career, and will continue to shape my knowledge of art history for many years to come.