My experience interning this week was rather unconventional as all of my time was spent outside of the archives. On Wednesday, September 14th, I, along with an employee from Crowder’s State Park, ran the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ (NCDNCR) booth at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. From three until seven, Jennifer and I sat behind a table that had various pamphlets that highlighted the different aspects of the newly merged NCDNCR, including: the NC zoo, historical sites, museums, state parks, state park passports (unique to this year only as part of the State Park Centennial Celebration), information on various events that are coming up at museums and parks throughout the state, booklets on how to become a junior ranger, and stickers and temporary tattoos for kids. Jennifer also brought a set of antlers and a pair of stuffed owls which proved quite useful in drawing people in. The passports were also a hit, especially after we explained how they were meant to be used (take it to state parks that you visit in 2016 and they will stamp it, that way you can collect the stamps… cute, right?). The temporary tattoos were also popular—even with adults! For me the event was very much about learning more about the new merger. For instance, I had no idea that the zoo fell under the jurisdiction of the NCDNCR. So I spent the majority of my time getting more comfortable with explaining what our department was about and what we do. We also had a “clicker” (I don’t know what else to call it) that we used to keep track of how many people we talked to. Every time someone stopped by and asked a question or we engaged them in conversation, we simply hit a silver button on the “clicker.” I believe we spoke to over fifty people by the time we were relieved. I wish I could say that I enjoyed the fair afterward, but the truth is I was quite sick yesterday! I had big plans to ride all the nauseating rides that spin around really fast and then follow it up with a funnel cake and games. However, by the time seven rolled around and I met up with my fiancé, I was hungry and my throat and body were hurting pretty badly so we settled with buying some maple syrup flavored cotton candy and a funnel cake. By the time we finished the funnel cake I was beyond miserable, so, sadly, we left.
My cold—at least that’s what I think it is—was no better on Thursday, so I settled for doing some research for the archives from home. Per Heather’s request, I looked into the Bauhaus collection online through the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The primary reason that Heather is interested in this collection is because a couple of (very influential) professors from Black Mountain College—Josef and Anni Albers—contributed to it. The artistic couple hails from Germany and attended the Bauhaus art school there before Hitler closed it down. They then made their way to the United States and taught at BMC. The artwork and photographs attributed to the Albers that are located at MoMA are not included in the BMC collection at the archives, so this serves as a useful tool to offer BMC researchers that may be studying art or the Albers, which explains why Heather was naturally curious as to what all may be viewed online. A total of 152 pieces by Anni Albers can be found on MoMA’s website (http://moma.org/artists/96?locale=en) and 161 pieces by Josef Albers (http://moma.org/artists/97?locale=en). I have not yet informed Heather of my findings, as she is currently out of state, but I look forward to sharing these little treasures with her when she returns! I am sure she will be quite happy! It was a bit of an odd week, but nonetheless educational. I love working in the archives themselves, but it is always fun to have little adventures outside of the archives as well.