Rachel Carder ’17 was one of just three students in Virginia chosen to present museum research at the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) annual conference in Roanoke March 19.
As an intern and student worker for the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, Carder researched the Maier’s 2013 exhibit, Modern Movement: Arthur Bowen Davies Figurative Works on Paper from the Randolph College and Mac Cosgrove Davies Collections. Davies was an artist and primary curator of the groundbreaking Armory Show of 1913. He was close to and inspired by Isadora Duncan, widely considered the mother of modern dance, and the Modern Movement exhibit featured figurative works depicting Duncan dancers in various poses from her repertory.
During the summer of 2016, Carder began the process of “traveling” the exhibition, or preparing the materials needed to loan it to other museums and art galleries. She also had completed an intensive with the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation in New York City. A dance and art history double major, she found the project to be a perfect combination of her skills.
“Isadora Duncan’s style of dance is my favorite that I’ve studied, so when I interviewed for the position at the Maier it was a perfect fit,” Carder said. “I came on board and learned all about the exhibition they did, and had to figure out how to travel it. One of the biggest surprises was that I got a lot more experience in marketing than I expected.”
In addition to researching and marketing the exhibit to other venues, Carder worked to identify interdisciplinary links to Arthur B. Davies and worked with partners to create educational programs that would complement the exhibition. She also collaborated with the Maier staff to design a catalog, which included video clips of the Duncan style of dance being performed at Randolph.
At the VAM conference, Carder will make a presentation that will include an overview of Modern Movement and her work to make it a loanable exhibit. “I feel so honored to be able to go to this conference and talk about my work,” she said. “I’m really nervous, but I think it’s going to go well because I like doing presentations and it’s something I’m passionate about.”
Carder also sees the conference as another opportunity to market the exhibit.
“It’s really cool that I’ll be doing a presentation along with every other museum in Virginia,” she said. “We’re hoping this will be another opportunity for other museums to see the exhibition that might be interested in showing it.”