Ally Sterman '09
On being a docent in Oberlin's world-class art museum: "I have been leading tours of the museum's broad and overwhelmingly impressive collection for almost four years now, and the joy of engaging visitors in discussions concerning art has only intensified."
Hearing someone who has never been particularly appreciative of modern art compare a few brightly colored florescent lights to a symphony has been one of the many highlights in my time as a docent at the Allen Memorial Museum of Art.
I have been leading tours of the museum's broad and overwhelmingly impressive collection for almost four years now, and the joy of engaging visitors in discussions concerning art has only intensified. More than simply spewing facts, I particularly enjoy engaging visitors in a dialogue, exploring the works of art together and getting them excited about the art that's in front of them.
To lead tours at the Allen, students must go through the winter term Practicum in Museum Education. I was fortunate in my first semester at Oberlin to have met the TA, who quickly and easily convinced me to spend my winter term in Oberlin training to be a docent and gaining a broad introduction into the museum world. I am thrilled to be bringing the process full circle, and will be the TA for the Practicum this coming winter term. After graduation I hope to continue working in museums, particularly with modern Chinese art, and I believe my four years as a docent and my strong involvement with the museum will help me to realize my aspirations.
Submitted by Ally Sterman '09
Our goal is to collect 1000 Oberlin stories, but we're not there yet. If you are an Oberlin student, alum, professor, or staff member, you can help by contributing your story.