Interview with Jessica Cloer
This week, justArts&Culture spoke with Jessica Cloer, the Associate Registrar of the Rose Art Museum, about the Student Art Loan Program, which happened on Oct. 2.
JustArts&Culture: Tell me a bit about this program and your role in it.
Jessica Cloer: The Student Art Loan Program offers current Brandeis students with the opportunity to bring art into their dorm rooms to weave art into the everyday experience. I am the associate registrar at the Rose Art Museum and currently oversee the program. Over the past year, I managed the inventory collection, worked with our curatorial intern to select the works, reframed the works with a conservator and our senior preparator, photographed the works with our collections intern, updated our files and database records, collaborated with our assistant director of communications to create a presence on the museum’s website and created new forms and documents for the program.
JAC: How were the pieces selected?
JC: This summer, the Rose Art Museum’s Lynn P. Warner Student Curatorial Intern, Rayelle Gardner, carefully selected the works for this year’s program. She was incredibly thoughtful about choosing a variety of works that would appeal to a diverse group of students. After her initial selection, our Assistant Curator, Caitlin Julia Rubin, narrowed the works down to 40.
JAC: How was the turnout this year?
JC: We had a wonderful turnout with students waiting at the front door of the museum before we opened. About half of the works were selected by mid-day and we ended up lending all of the works that were available. It was wonderful seeing roommates debate which work to choose and hearing why a particular selection was made. Art can speak to people in many different ways. Our two Sherman H. Starr Family Curatorial Interns, Hannah Kressel and Emma Peters, helped with that experience by creating informative labels and assisting with lending process during the pick up day.
JAC: Is there plan to make it a per semester instead of per year program, so that midyear students get an opportunity to participate?
JC: That is an interesting idea! At this time there is not a plan to make to make the program per semester.
JAC: Is there concerns with the potential of damaging the art collections? Are the pieces lend out equipped with protections?
JC: I have found that students are incredibly respectful of the artworks and take wonderful care of them. In the four years that I have worked with art lending collections, I have never had an issue where artwork was damaged. The museum does take measures to protect the pieces since the works are being displayed outside of the museum environment. All of the works are matted and framed and we had a conservator secure the majority of the works on all corners. We also used an impermeable corrugated plastic sheet for the backing and sealed it to the frame.
JAC: Anything else you want to add or let the students know?
JC: I absolutely love that over 75 percent of the students who participated are not studio art or art history majors and some had never even been in the museum before. Art is something that everyone can enjoy and I hope that more students take advantage of having such an incredible museum just steps away. If you would like to get more involved with the museum, please visit our website to check out various opportunities for students.
— Luke Liu
— Editor’s note: Editor Hannah Kressel works at the Rose Art Museum