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Illinois Wesleyan University senior Lauren Henry of Monticello is brushing up on her knowledge of the works of Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse before she begins a summer internship at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
Considered to have the best collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world, MoMA has more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects.
A double major in international studies and anthropology, Henry will intern in MoMA’s Collections Management and Exhibition Registration department. She believes her archival internship experience at the McLean County Museum of History helped her land the MoMA position.
“A lot of the work I’ll be doing at MoMA will be working with the records of the collections and keeping those up to date in order to help those who are interested in doing research about the collections,” she said.
“People think of museums as places with exhibitions for the public, but a huge purpose of museums is the care of the collections, especially items that are not currently on exhibit, and using the collections for research purposes,” she added.
Entering Illinois Wesleyan as an international studies major, Henry added an anthropology major after taking the May term course “Museums, Representation and Cultural Property” with adjunct faculty member Linda Giles.
“Dr. Giles took us to museums all over Illinois and to The Field Museum in Chicago,” said Henry. “We went behind the scenes to see the collections and it was my first exposure to the amazing world of the artifacts not on display. After that, I was hooked.” She plans to obtain a master’s degree in museum studies with a concentration in collections management.
As a student at Illinois Wesleyan, Henry was invited to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences and received a Phi Beta Kappa Fellowship. She is also a member of Lambda Alpha, anthropology honor society; and Phi Beta Delta, international honor society. Henry studied abroad in the IWU London Program and in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The senior said she was inspired and determined to obtain a prestigious internship after fellow anthropology students Kate Scott and Sarah Carlson (both of the Class of 2013) interned at The Smithsonian and The Field Museum of Natural History, respectively.
“It says a lot about the anthropology department that our students have done so well, and that we have such a strong interdisciplinary background that has really helped us obtain these kinds of internships,” said Henry.