Placement Spotlight: Museo de Arte Moderno

I was very fortunate to spend three months this summer at the Museo Moderno in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the support of the OOC DTP. The Museo Moderno is a leading museum of modern art in Buenos Aires, and I worked with the Curatorial and Heritage teams for the duration of my placement. With the help of my supervisor, I contacted the curators at the Museo to design my own placement that would support the Museo’s research interests while supporting my training needs. Rebecca Costello from the DTP team was an excellent source of advice and support regarding devising my own placement, and I would strongly encourage any student to consider designing their own placement.


The Museo Moderno regularly hosts visiting researchers, and the Heritage team is in the process of digitising a large collection of materials – photographs, exhibition catalogues, and newspaper items – that trace the history of modern art in Argentina. Part of my placement involved conducting archival research with the materials in their vast library. I prepared a series of curatorial texts on artworks by Argentine women from the 1960s, researching their creation, materials, exhibition history, and influence on the Argentine art scene at the time. I wrote these texts, along with artist biographies, in Spanish and then subsequently translated them into English. It was a great exercise in writing in a different style with a specific audience in mind. These texts can be used by curators when preparing texts for future exhibitions, and will also appear on the Museo’s new website featuring their collection, which is currently under construction:


I also really appreciated the opportunity to work behind the scenes at a museum, understanding how much work goes into each exhibition and the maintenance of the collection. Through shadowing the curation team, I was able to witness four exhibition openings during my stay, from the development to the production of the exhibition and the opening night. I also participated in the ‘Night at the Museums’ event, a municipal event in Buenos Aires where participating museums open their doors until 2 am. It was fascinating to engage with the public on a variety of different occasions.


I can’t speak highly enough of the team at the Museo Moderno, who were all so generous in sharing their time and expertise with me. As well as teaching me how a museum runs, they were also invaluable sources of recommendations within Buenos Aires, and I learnt a great deal about Argentine art beyond the scope of my research placement. I feel better informed about the possibilities and realities of working in the arts and heritage sectors, and am grateful to the Museo Moderno for this formative experience.

Image of student on placement at museo moderno