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Art History

As part of your studies you may work as a docent or get involved with an exhibit at The Wellin Museum of Art, a new and acclaimed campus facility. You could secure an internship at the nearby Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, home to an important American art collection, or at a museum in New York, Boston or other great art city. You may collaborate with professors on work that leads to publication or to a student-curated exhibition.

Ianna Recco ’16 working with a new collection at the Wellin Museum of Art.

Art history, ancient languages and a plan for the future

Ianna Recco ’16 envisioned two paths to her future and chose Hamilton in part because its open curriculum allowed her to travel both: She double-majors in art history and classical languages. Another draw was the new Wellin Museum of Art, where she works as a docent – and got the chance to work with new acquisitions, exciting stuff for someone whose goal is curatorial work. “It was about 60 pieces of Roman glass, and I measured every little dimension, and I just finished putting them on an online database,” she says. “It was fantastic.”

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In grittier hands-on work, Recco spent a summer in Crete surveying Gournia, a Late Bronze Age town, and studying its architecture with John McEnroe, the John and Anne Fischer Professor in Fine Arts at Hamilton.

“I feel like even if I don’t end up working in a museum, for whatever reason,” she says, “that I could really do anything, just because I have this breadth of knowledge. And especially, they really emphasize writing here at Hamilton, so I’ve really honed my writing skills.”

Kenley Stark '11 in Venice at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, where she interned.
Kenley Stark '11 in Venice at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, where she interned.

A graduate’s progress: combining art and law

Kenley Stark ’11 found her niche through an internship she had in college, where she doubled-majored in art history and philosophy. She’s pursuing a law degree and a master’s in art history at Duke University.

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At Hamilton College, Stark interned at galleries large and small, at museums, at an art nonprofit and, finally, at an art auction house. During her stint there, the general counsel and a prominent art lawyer delivered lectures to the interns, and Stark was riveted.  

“I recalled one of the first papers I wrote in Professor John McEnroe’s intro Art History class on the repatriation issues surrounding the Parthenon marbles, and I felt I’d found my calling,” she says.

Stark’s goal is to practice art law.

“My career interests more broadly include intellectual property litigation, first amendment and media law, and antitrust. I’m looking forward to seeing where all of this takes me,” she says.

Hamilton, she says, gives students opportunities to tailor their academic plans to suit their passions and goals. Her sophomore and junior years she co-curated an exhibition at the Emerson Gallery. She studied in Florence, Italy, during her junior year.