Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Rachel Newman ’16

Paramus, New Jersey • Psychology View Profile

Life at the Museum Part II: Please touch

...your most favorite museum piece ever....

Last we left off in this awesome chapter of my education, I had told you all about my class on "Olmec Art", which I started taking because of my job at the museum. (Speaking of the museum, I’m giving a tour on April 28 for Princeton Preview at 2 p.m. If you’ll be on campus, come say hi to me!!!)

If you haven’t seen that post, I started working at the museum my freshman year, and fell in love with one object of Olmec origin, “Kneeling Lord with Toad Incised on his Head.” I joined the class about Olmec art to learn more about this piece at the beginning of this semester.

A few awesome things have transpired since then.

First, I got to hold the “Kneeling Lord” figurine that I raved about last time. I fan-girled. A lot. It was indescribably cool to be able to get up close and personal with something that, until then, I only got to look at behind glass.

And all that was just the first part in the list of exciting things going on right now in that class. 

Last Sunday, we took a trip to New York City to go see museums and galleries that house nice collections of Olmec material. We went to the Museum of Natural History, the MET and to a private collection. At the private collection, we had an opportunity to talk to the collector, see her art and were each assigned a piece to research for a final project.

Tonight, just before starting this post, I must have walked up and down the stairs in the art library on campus about 15 times getting books to start the research process. But, in doing so, I found things out about an object that I had never known. We weren’t given a fact sheet to accompany our piece, so we just had to flip through catalogues, find pictures that matched our objects and research backwards from that point.

And guess what? The piece I have is related in style to my oh-so-favorite “Kneeling Lord.” It’s kind of funny how because of that piece, I found it important to join the class, and now, I am finishing up my class writing a report (kind of) about it. 

That works out nicely :)