Ah so much happened. Sunday we climbed Table Mountain. That was hands down the most difficult thing I have ver done in my life. The views were worth it though.
This week we were moving around a bit at work. The first day was spent in the marine biology lab of the South African Museum. We met Wayne one of the marine biology curators at the Iziko. He asked use some hard questions about the role of museums and collections within a museum. According to him the most important part of a museum is the collection. Since his collection is scientific instead of art works the collection takes on a role beyond the exhibition as an archive for scientific research. South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world. The collection at the Iziko has about 5 million specimens documenting thousands of animal species. Of course when he spit out those numbers I was in awe, but it also made me think of museum collections in a new light. We are usually focused on the values to humans but the collections at a natural history museum can help use understand evolution, the environment, and the impact we have on the environment. It could probably also help influence environmental decisions moving forward.
The rest of the week I was with Amy, the exhibition designer for the Iziko. This was a totally new experience for me. Her job was to come up with the idea of how an exhibition would look and what the experience would be for visitors. with her I created mood boards, met with collections managers to discuss what would be displayed, met with the carpenters building the exhibitions, and held 200 million year old fossils!!! This week was super dope and I’m definitely considering this as a possible job option.
Friday we did out final presentations and said our goodbyes. It was bittersweet but i had a great experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.