Anastasia is one of our two Friends of the UNI Museum collections assistant. She comes to us from the Department of Art, and also works with Darrell Taylor in the Gallery of Art as a preparator. She's been doing some great work going through our inventory and we're thankful to have her on our team. Here's Anastasia to tell us about her projects!
Greetings, as this is my first blog entry I thought I might start by introducing myself a bit. My name is Anastasia Parsons and I am a senior at UNI majoring in studio art, emphasizing in photography and minoring in art history. Apart from my own creative endeavours, I have also dedicated a portion of my schooling and my extracurricular activities to museum studies.
My first two weeks working in the collections space have been incredibly interesting. On my first day, I set up my work space (which is actually inside of the collection space itself!).
Oh, I forgot to mention that I share my workspace with a lovely human skeleton.
After becoming acquainted with my space and my fellow occupants, I was given the day to explore the collections. At first, I thought I would begin in the photography collection as I’m usually drawn to the mystery of old photographs. However, I quickly decided on a whim that I would open drawers at random and then search the database for more information on objects which caught my eye. Some of my favorite drawers included a drawer filled with old film canisters and stereoscopes as well as a drawer of small figurine toys all in little plastic baggies next to a toy gun.
My last few shifts have been spent on my first project in which I have been digitizing a collection of color positive film slides that were found in the possession of a deceased WWII soldier. These images have not yet been seen outside of the collection. I was both excited and apprehensive to begin the scanning process, as I was unsure what imagery I might discover. Since the photographs had been taken during WWII, I thought that some of them might be cold, gruesome, and uncomfortable to view. I am surprised to report that they are in fact just the opposite. Much of the imagery is light hearted and warm and the collection as a whole shows a glimpse into the more “human” side of war which is all too often glossed over. Many of the soldiers in these photographs are young and look to be not much older than 18. The intimate narrative quality which these slides produce leave me wondering what happened to these young men. Did they make it home or are some of these images fragments of their last moments on this Earth?
Interested in seeing more from this slide collection? More images and information can be accessed in the Museum’s online collection database, just search 1989.43.550A and browse at your leisure.