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Mentoring at the AAMC

Posted By Bobbye Tigerman, Assistant Curator, LACMA, Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One of the highlights of every AAMC conference for me is the "mentoring session.” As a junior curator working in the field for less than 7 years, I am paired with a senior curator with over 10 years of experience for an informal conversation. Mentoring in this way is a lot like electronic dating (I would know—that’s how my husband and I met). After learning a little bit about someone by exchanging a few emails and some astute Googling, we meet in person and attempt to have a fairly personal conversation while minimizing the awkwardness of our encounter. This year my mentor was Beth Venn, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Senior Curator of American Art at the Newark Museum. Unlike in past years, Beth and I don’t work in the same field (I’m a design curator), but that difference didn’t really matter. The same issues about professional development, squaring personal goals with the needs of your institution, and work-life balance apply no matter what field you’re in. Beth’s variety of professional experiences and practical advice helped me think about what kind of goals to set for myself and next steps in my career. Just hearing about someone else’s trajectory—how projects move from concept phase to realization, how to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and how one job can lead to the next—helped me see the bigger picture. And in a field as small as museum curating, it never hurts to have friends at institutions all around the country!


Bobbye Tigerman

Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts and Design

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Tags:  mentoring 

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