This time last year,Newport Art Museum had a brand new curator.  This week, Dr. Francine Weiss, Senior Curator, told the MuSE class of 2018 student cohort her story of what it was like to start the job fresh, while viewing her first big curatorial statement: the museum’s current exhibition titled “be of love and other stories: Contemporary Highlights from the Permanent Collection.” 

MuSE, 3d storage with Francine Weiss

Senior Curator Dr. Francine Weiss showing the MuSE students objects in 3D Storage.

Dr. Weiss recalled looking at a large painting the museum had recently acquired and thinking how much she wanted to exhibit this wonderful new piece, she related to the students her experiences in those first weeks on the job as she looked through the collection, finding ever more pieces that caught her eye.  She was so thrilled to see some pieces that she would breathlessly tell her colleagues about each latest personal discovery.  A growing excitement about curating a show of contemporary permanent collection highlights took hold, and “be of love” is the result (on view through January 7, 2018.)

The students explored collection storage with Dr. Weiss, saw a demonstration of MIMSY, the collection database, and peeked in some of the drawers and files she opened as she found the pieces for the show the students had just seen.  The students were brought into her story and her passion for the job. This is the behind the scenes access the MuSE students will have throughout their program.

Each student was also assigned a piece from the collection to research and as their final project, they will create an interpretive response in any medium to their given artwork.  The completed projects will go on display in the museum’s EdSpace in the Griswold house.