By Arthur Garrison
Read the full September issue of Viewpoints.
As I wrap up my summer internship at the McFaddin-Ward House Museum, I cannot believe that I was given this great opportunity to be a part of such a unique staff. I have learned valuable museum skills from just about everyone here, including writing press releases, updating collections files with Publisher and Past Perfect, and creating exhibits based on historical research. I am sure that these skills and my countless other enjoyable experiences in Beaumont will help me achieve my goals after I receive my master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Oklahoma next spring.
The best part of my internship at the McFaddin-Ward House was being allowed to participate in researching and designing an exhibit, knowing that the information collected would be used to bring history to life for many visitors. In my opinion, this is what museums are for, and McFaddin-Ward House accomplishes this task quite well.
Part of my job was to create a two-part exhibit focusing on the McFaddin family’s service during the First World War. Such an exhibit may seem a bit strange for a house museum; however, I felt that constructing it would challenge me and also allow the museum to share a less widely-known piece of Beaumont’s history with the public. The project gave me on-the-job experience working with budgets, managing my time, and collaborating with staff. This experience will help me achieve my ultimate goal of working for one of the many military museums across the country.
As I complete my internship, I would like to thank the Board of Directors and the museum staff, as well as the many docents and patrons with whom I have crossed paths over the summer. Each has taught me many things that will make me not only a better museum professional but also a better person.
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