Monday, 25 February 2013

Hello from the new Intern

Hello! I am the new intern at Montacute house and, like Emma the previous intern did, I am keen to give an insight into what goes on behind the scenes here, and what being a National Trust intern has to offer. Since I began in November I have only been working here during the closed season. I have been told that things become much more hectic when we open, but am really looking forward to seeing all of our hard work with the cleaning paying off when the visitors return to enjoy the house again on 16th March.

The last three months have been very packed, and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to each of the four properties in South Somerset to help carry out preventative conservation on the hundreds of objects that we are used to only seeing and not touching. Being allowed to see inside these, and open up all of the compartments felt like quite an indulgence at times. I have been working closely with the Goodhart samplers, putting up the 2013 display, and creating the accompanying booklet. I have also sorted through the hundreds of comments from Antony Gormley’s exhibition ‘Field for the British Isles’ at Barrington last summer, which incidentally had generally very positive feedback (contemporary art always provokes some debate!)

Over Christmas I got to dress up as a maid, and as a housekeeper, to assist Father Christmas, when the drawing room and parlour were transformed into a magnificent grotto. The way that the slightly nervous expressions on the children’s faces became beaming smiles when they received their gifts made those three weekends very enjoyable and rewarding. I have also heard some inspiring and quirky talks about the samplers, and about what it’s like to be an auctioneer, and deal in antiques and art.

Now that I am contributing to the blog, I intend to use the opportunity to interview the volunteers and staff about their experiences here. I’m also working on an exciting project to help make Montacute appeal to a younger generation. For now I’ll leave you with a couple of photos I took out of one of the inscribed library windows over the winter.

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