Recent Art History Graduate Earns CMA Internship

Alum Brianna Robinson at her Cleveland Museum of Art conservation internship.
Kent State University School of Art graduate Brianna Robinson recently earned the role of Object Conservation Intern at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). Brianna earned her B.A. in Art History and Sociology from Kent State in the fall of 2020.

At her internship at the CMA, Brianna has the opportunity to learn about the process of preventative conservation, which is the practice of how to keep objects in collections safe and well preserved when not on display. She sees the intersections of art and science in a lab, how objects are kept in storage, and the day-to-day operations of a museum. Her role is collaborative, and she regularly connects with faculty and museum workers. Each day, she reports to the conservation lab and works on safely repacking objects in the CMA's collection, meeting with faculty to gain insight into the work done in the space, and practices writing object condition reports and researching preventative care tools.

Brianna’s time at Kent State helped to prepare her for this internship, and now she is able to apply her learned skills in a professional setting.

“My experience at Kent State as an art history student prepared me for this internship as I am very aware of the art historical canon and I've been made extremely familiar with collaboration due to my involvement in Anti-Racism and Criticism Collective (ARCC) and the development of the upcoming exhibition 'TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair.' With the skills I've learned, it's made it a bit easier to transition from roles as a student into the art world,” said Brianna. 

Brianna hopes that this internship will help to prepare her for a career as an arts professional, making art accessible to all audiences.

“I think so far this internship has taught me a lot about how collaborative museums are and I hope it furthers my career path because I now know a lot about how objects are cared for as I aspire to do work in art spaces. My biggest career aspirations are to make art (and art histories) accessible and less intimidating considering art should exist and be enjoyed by everyone regardless of where you're from or what you do,” Brianna said. 

Brianna Robinson is a co-founder of the student-led Anti-Racism and Criticism Collective, a reading group that discusses how fine art institutions can be actively anti-racist. She is also a co-founder of the Black Femme Collective. Brianna was Editor-in-Chief of Uhuru Magazine, where she oversaw the operations of the publication. She also worked as a curatorial assistant on the TEXTURES exhibition, a landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complicated place in the history of African American life and culture. Brianna was a participant in the Museum Professionals Institute through Studio Museum in Harlem this past February.

POSTED: Monday, April 19, 2021 - 5:10pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 24, 2021 - 4:02pm
Grace Carter