Student Finds Art, Library Intersection – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Student Finds Art, Library Intersection

Though the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is primarily known for its extensive art collection, it also houses several libraries, each with a distinctive collection. This summer, Roger Arnold ’10 is working in the Robert Goldwater library dedicated to the arts of Africa, the Pacific Islands, and native and pre-Columbian America.

Arnold is working on a project jointly organized by librarian Ross Day of the Africa, Oceania, and the Americas department of the Goldwater library and Alisa Lagamma, curator of African art in the Department for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Arnold is compiling bibliographic research for an exhibition catalog for a 2011 exhibition on “representations of the African” in African art.  Currently, he is researching the art and origin mythologies of the Chokwe people, creators of several statuettes and masks slated to be in the show.

Arnold is no stranger to libraries. During the academic year, he holds two campus jobs at the Warren Hunting Smith Library working in the archives and as a student assistant processing interlibrary loan requests.  Arnold is also an engaged student of art history, having interned at the renowned Frick Collection in New York City last summer. He says of this summer’s experience, “As someone who has had a strong interest in libraries, specifically art librarianship, I will get to see the intersections that small library collections have to curatorial departments.”

Already, Arnold speaks highly of his experience working on this project, “It has allowed me to engage with my area of study on a higher intellectual level because I am reporting my findings directly to the curator, a master in the field.” Arnold’s work this summer will prepare him to embark on an Honors project in the fall. Following graduation from Hobart, he plans to pursue graduate study in art history. 

An art history and comparative literature double major and a French and Francophone studies minor, Arnold is the Hobart student representative to the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men. He writes for the Colleges’ literary magazine, Thel, and studied abroad in Senegal during the Spring 2008 semester.