Katie Doyle arrived in Bahrain in January 2022 to begin a six-month internship with the Bahrain National Museum. After completing her Bachelors in Studio Art- Ceramics, Loyola University Chicago, and her Master of Arts degree in School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since then, she occupied several positions in the field of arts and museums which lead her to seek to build her skills and professional experience in a museum environment.
The Bahrain National Museum internship program offered this opportunity and a chance to learn in an educational environment with museum professionals. Interns get hands on experience dealing with a variety of collections and projects. Katie shares, “I was seeking to expand my skill set as a museum professional. I have been working hard for the last eight years of my career to grow my curatorial experience, and I was missing crucial collections knowledge in my resume that would have made me eligible for the roles I wanted. This opportunity at the National Museum was the perfect way to fill in that knowledge gap, to grow as a professional, and to explore another side of museum work that I had only participated in peripherally before.”
Working in a museum environment like the Bahrain National Museum provided Katie with multiple opportunities to expand her knowledge and said, “The obvious highlights for me have been large and small. My primary project led to a significant contribution to the Qalat Al Bahrain collection, and the months-long experience of documenting and registering each piece of pottery has been incredibly special and humbling.” “Another unique experience was uncovering a box of items that had been excavated from a playground in the 1980’s. I cannot think of many places in the world where a group of kindergarteners could become accidental citizen-archaeologists. Bahrain is incredibly unique in that way. Going through the provenance and seeing the evidence of where and when these items were pulled from the ground – and by whom – was so special. I felt a little transported. I often wonder where those young archaeologists are today.”
As for challenges, Katie stated “One challenge I feel I faced while I was at the museum was the sheer number of projects to choose from. The collection is vast and rich. Therefore, to make a commitment to a project the scale of the one I chose, I had to set other interests aside and focus on the task at hand. This challenge taught me a lot about patience and the importance of taking breaks during a long-haul project. It also taught me how to slow down, scrutinize, and appreciate what I’m working on with a mindful eye.”
Katie concluded her internship in June, and we look forward for more collaborations with the Bahrain National Museum on future programs.