Opportunities at the Block
The Block Museum offers many opportunities for Northwestern students and faculty and other area community members to get involved. Explore how you can participate at the Block.
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences BA,
Art History and Art Theory & Practice, 2011
I worked mostly in the Print, Drawing, and Photography Study Center with senior curator Debora Wood and with collections and exhibitions assistant Liz Wolf. I matted art works and performed conservation treatments such as tear repair and tape removal. I also assisted at three Museum benefits and helped create artist bios for the winter 2011 exhibition The Satirical Edge in Contemporary Prints and Graphics.
Being part of the Block allowed me to gain experience that has proved to be invaluable. Working at the Museum directly contributed to my desire to enter a career in art conservation and assisted me in my application to graduate school conservation programs.
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
BA, Art History and French and International Studies, 2011
As a student docent at the Block Museum I helped create and lead group tours. I also worked on special events, most notably, the Printpalooza print fair in winter 2011 as well as a benefit for the Museum, where I presented a work by the artist Jeanine Coupe Ryding that was bought and donated to the Block by benefit guests.
Working at the Block has definitely been one of the highlights of my NU experience. It made me even more certain that I would like to pursue a future in the museum environment. My student docent experience at the Block helped me realize how passionate I am about facilitating the audience's relationship with the art.
PhD, History with a specialization in early American history, 2011
As a graduate fellow, I did various kinds of research for the permanent collection, for exhibitions, and for special events such as fundraisers. My research included provenance, publication history of prints, identification of art works, and bios of artists.
I specifically applied for the graduate fellowship at the Block because I wanted more experience in identifying, handling, and researching art objects--- skills that will enhance my chances on a tight job market and cannot be acquired in any seminar.
After a year at the Block, my expectations were completely met. I was assigned projects that corresponded with my interests; staff members always took the time to explain, demonstrate, and discuss assignments; I got to meet interesting people including artists and collectors; I learned how a museum works…
Phd, Art History with a concentration in early modern northern European art, 2014
At the Block I curated an exhibit on early modern prints titled Engraving the Ephemeral. I selected works in the collection that depicted fire, clouds, and dramatic light effects, made in the 16th and 17th centuries. I also wrote a short essay that was published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Being part of the Block gave me several opportunities that I would not otherwise have had at NU. First, I really benefited from being able to look closely at early modern prints. This firsthand viewing allowed me to learn more about printmaking and to gain a better understanding of the aesthetics of the medium. I am truly grateful that the Block has a longstanding tradition of collaborating with the art history department at NU. The staff and collection at the Block are great resources for faculty and students alike, and we are fortunate to be involved with various museum exhibitions, speakers, and events.
School of Communication
I have been fortunate to work closely with the director and the curators at the Block Museum to help to create a program that puts film on an equal footing, aesthetically and pedagogically, with other arts and activities on this campus.
Block Museum and Block Cinema are among the few spaces on campus that can bring together students, faculty, staff, and the general public. So I feel that their role should be to provide aesthetic enjoyment, entertainment, and education, but also to function as a laboratory for interdisciplinary experimentation in the arts and humanities.
David Van Zanten
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History
The Block Museum plays a number of roles on campus: as a place for the creation of intellectually challenging exhibitions; as a venue for exhibitions of intellectual interest organized by other institutions, and as a place for students to get hands-on experience.
I have found the Block staff very attentive and was impressed at all the work done for an exhibition which I was involved in, Marion Mahony Griffin: Drawing the Form of Nature.
Block Museum Docent
I have been privileged to be a docent at the Block for more than 20 years. The training the Museum has given me has been a wonderful education at the hands of top-flight curators, art historians, and scholars from many fields. I have welcomed every moment of my association with this unique institution.