This month in Working in the Arts we spoke with Hannah Foster who is an Exhibitions Assistant at the V&A.
So, where do you work?
V&A, South Kensington
What is your job title?
What time did you wake up? What are you usual working hours?
I woke up at 6am in an attempt to go for a run, swiftly fell back to sleep and re-woke at 7am to start the day properly. My usual working hours are 9 – 5.15, but this can vary depending on whether I am working on an install/de-install of an exhibition or travelling with a touring exhibition.
What are your key tasks?
Bringing all the relevant people together to make an exhibition happen. I contribute to help make a curator’s research and vision come to life; working with conservation to organise the display of objects, working with lenders to secure loans for the show and then ensuring that designers and build contractors work to our plans. There’s a lot to exhibition planning that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t always realise has to happen – and in the Exhibitions department we make it all come together!
What was your career path to this role?
I studied History of Art as an undergraduate. I worked as an Estate Agent for a short while until I started my Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester. After graduating I interned and worked for various different museums and galleries for just under a year until I landed a permanent role at a regional gallery and museum. The experience there then built me up to be ready to work at a national museum.
What are the best and worst things about your job?
Best: Working with some of the most amazing works of art and design, being able to travel the world taking exhibitions to different museums and working with colleagues around the globe
Worst: I can’t think of any!
What careers advice would you give to your 18 year old self with the benefit of hindsight?
Keep following your passion and remember to have fun.
Have you had a secret job that is not on your CV?
I did a very short stint at Sports Direct as a student, it did not go well…
Thank you to Hannah for taking the time to talk to us and look out for future insights into the art world.
Hannah Foster Image: (C) The Lightbox museum and gallery