Museum Studies in a Mask

TALIM Ayla Amon
Ayla Amon, graduate student in George Washington University's Museum Studies Program, is finishing up what is the inaugural internship for a pilot program funded by the US Embassy in Rabat.  As you can see, Ayla is of the "roll up your sleeves" school of interns.

We couldn't have asked for a better start for what we hope will be an ongoing program.  Ayla has been tireless in her efforts to put us on the right track.  One of her most lasting contributions will have been setting up a collections management system.  Over the years, many well-meaning people – interns, volunteers, donors – have begun or provided partial inventories of works in our museum.  These lists and descriptions have provided valuable raw material.

Now, thanks to Ayla and an off-the-shelf database program, we have the basis of a system that will allow us to meet standards and keep track of our works, which sometimes have had to be moved when renovation work beckons.

But what is equally impressive about Ayla's approach is her willingess to get her hands dirty.  Dressed in her lab coat and mask, Ayla has put order into our "conservatory," which has come to be a repository for valuable museum pieces not on display, but also as a last resort for junk that should have long ago been tossed.

So, now the challenge is to keep up Ayla's good example.  We want to have follow-on interns, and our own staff need to apply lessons learned from Ayla and other teachers of museum best practice.  We wish Ayla the best, and remain certain that she will be a great asset to the institution lucky enough to benefit from her enthusiasm, experience, training, and work ethic.

Gerald Loftus

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