Q&A With Marit Anderson
What was your favorite class in the ARTH major?
My favorite art history class at the U of M was Medieval Art. Going into the class, I didn't think I would be very interested in the art, but I was wrong. The medieval [period] ended up being my favorite period I studied as an undergrad.
Is there a professor who stood out to you?
There were two professors that stood out to me the most. First was Dr. Ostrow, who was my advisor for my capstone project. He not only agreed to advise me even though he was on sabbatical, but he also taught me so much about research while I was writing that paper, and the lessons I learned are ones I still use today.
The second professor was Dr. Jennifer Awes-Freeman, who I believe is still an adjunct professor in the program. She was my professor for Medieval Art, which ended up being my favorite class. She also wrote me a letter of recommendation for grad school and met with me a few times while I was getting settled as a graduate student.
Where are you going to graduate school, and can you describe the research you are doing now?
I am at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and pursuing an MA in art history. This last fall I finished work on a Certificate in Museum Studies. Currently, I am taking classes on neoclassical art and the role of epic narrative in Greek art. I am preparing to write my qualifying paper next spring on an image of Christ as Orpheus in the Catacombs of Saints Peter and Marcellinus. I will be doing an independent study next fall in preparation for this. I was also meant to present a version of this research this spring at the Midwest Art History Conference but could not due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did your undergraduate degree prepare you for your graduate program?
The lessons I learned from my research have really helped me do well in grad school. In addition, the capstone paper class helped me learn to write more clearly for a more diverse audience.
What are your future aspirations?
Last summer, I worked as a collections intern at Hennepin History Museum (HHM) and continue to volunteer there writing catalog entries. My experiences at HHM have made me sure that a career in collections is right for me, and I'm hopeful that those experiences can help me when applying for jobs after graduation.
What led you to your graduate program?
I found out about St. Thomas' graduate art history program through attending a panel hosted by the U of M with representatives from several local colleges and universities. If the opportunity comes up for any current undergraduates to attend one of these panels (either in person or virtually), I would highly recommend it.
This interview was conducted by a student in Backpack. Meet the team.