Assuming the role of junior curators, the students worked in groups of four or five to inspect, document and research their assigned object in order to determine its identity and the purpose for which it was once used. Further enhancing this year’s program, the ISP class was joined on the project by students from KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy in California (USA). Modern technology allowed the students to collaborate on every aspect of the project, including the final presentations, where KIPP students made their appearance in pre-recorded video segments. The students’ work was evaluated throughout the program by four Collections judges.
About the Curator for a Day Program
The Curator for a Day program was created in 2009 by Alexandra Lobkowicz in collaboration with the International School of Prague. It is usually conducted as part of a social studies curriculum.
An Interview with the Top Student Curators of 2012
Now in its third year, The Lobkowicz Collections’ Curator for a Day program concluded in the Imperial Hall of Lobkowicz Palace on 26 March, when sixty 7thgrade students from the International School of Prague and their counterparts at the KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy (USA) presented the findings of their two-month research projects on uncataloged objects from The Collections. Dorothea Eder, Sophia Mikton, Jakub Kodl, George Mazzotti and Yeong Gi Yoon were awarded 1st place for their work and spoke with Lobkowicz writers about their experience.
Curator Object: 19th-century Monstrance
What did you think the object was when you first saw it?
We thought it must have been an object used in a Christian church because of the cross. At first, we thought that the sun-like shape at the top meant it was a sundial. Some of us thought it was just a decorative piece with no purpose.
What was the strategy you set in order to tackle your research and which sources were ultimately the most helpful?
All the websites we used were extremely helpful. It’s hard to pick out a certain few that were the best. The strategy for all our research was to first assign topics to each person, then each person would research that topic. After researching, we would take notes, paraphrase and finally put all the information together into one blog post.
Were there any surprises along the way?
One of the surprises was that we were able to find the date of the object in small carved writing on the monstrance’s base. Another surprise was that we were able to find so much on religion and the history of religion in Bohemia through a single object. Before the project, we did not think this was possible.
What was the most valuable thing you learned from the Curator project?
We think that the most valuable information we learned was the information about the object, the history of Bohemia and the history of religion. Overall, we were glad that we were able to tell a story about history through one object.