What is it Like to Intern at the Norman Rockwell Museum?

September 18, 2019

Rachel Mancour

As the museum’s Walter Reed Distinguished Scholar intern, Rachel Mancour '19 helped research future exhibits, learned the ins and outs of the museum’s archive system, and wrote articles about female illustrators for illustrationhistory.org..

Rachel Mancour ’19 learned about Norman Rockwell when she was a child—she even dressed as the renowned American illustrator for Halloween when she was in third grade. So when she was offered a summer internship at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge this summer, it was an easy yes.

As the museum’s Walter Reed Distinguished Scholar intern, Mancour helped research future exhibits, learned the ins and outs of the museum’s archive system, and wrote articles about female illustrators for illustrationhistory.org.

She also worked on the Joe De Mers Collection, matching photos and negatives to tear sheets from magazines and De Mers’ original illustrations (De Mers is an American artist known for illustrating women in ways that pushed against the stereotypes of his time). She scanned art books in preparation for future museum exhibits, helped install and then de-install an exhibit on Frank Schoonover, and worked with the museum’s digital engagement team. “I was surprised by how interconnected all the departments are,” she said. “The museum wouldn’t be able to operate without everyone communicating and relying on each other.”

How did she get there? It started in Assistant Professor Jerome Socolof’s Writing in Arts and Culture class. Mancour had to interview someone in her field of interest; she chose Stephanie Plunkett, the museum’s deputy director and chief curator. “From there, I asked her about internships the museum offers,” Mancour said. “She asked me to send her my resume.”

Mancour ended up interviewing and sending in writing samples (the Walter Reed internship is focused on creating new reference material for the Illustration History site). “I was at the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for four days a week, so it was a big time commitment,” she said.

And while working there, researching and writing about so many artists and illustrators, Mancour realized the next step she wanted to take: She wants to become a CGI artist or VR animator, and is looking for a specialized education program to help her achieve that goal.

Formerly a double major in art and arts management with a minor in art history and two concentrations in design and studio, she worked with Assistant Professor Diane Scott to map out her path, deciding to focus solely on her arts management major, freeing her up to graduate a year and a half early. “I’m hoping to start at an animation program in January,” she said.

Read Rachel Mancour’s Illustration History articles:










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