Francesca Stotter, a Middlesex University Law Undergraduate, talks about her first week working as a Temporary Collections Assistant at MoDA.
I’m at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDA) for two months as a Collections Assistant, helping the MoDA team with the day-to-day running of the museum by carrying out administrative tasks and offering a hand wherever I am needed. Before starting at MoDA this week, I had just come to the end of the second year of my three year undergraduate law degree at Middlesex University.
Working at MoDA is completely different to anything I have done before but I have already begun to enjoy it immensely, as there is always something to be done or a new design I can observe. The team have been very open and welcoming towards me and I already feel like a team member on my third day.
Whilst here, other than wrapping my head around the documentation and cataloguing systems, I have had a chance to see some of the Silver Studio Collection but have for the most part been working with the Charles Hasler collection, whilst the team make preparations for the upcoming book that will be launched in September. Both collections are amazingly beautiful and intricate in detail, spanning over hundreds of works in different formats, I hope to see and learn more of them over the next two months.
On my first day, I was covering and sorting the Good Housekeeping magazines that span back over fifty years, showing how much domestic design and architecture have changed over those years and just how influential it is on households and society. I was pleasantly surprised by just how much is stored in the archive here at MoDA and constantly find a new book, textile or design that catches my eye and has me in awe, the original designs, textiles and other items kept here are truly amazing. Before working here, I had no real grasp on where modern designs and ideas for home decorating actually came from, but it has been an insight to see all of these original designs and learn about them.
I have no prior work experience at a museum, but I often spend a lot of my free time in them. Working here is giving me a new and fresh insight into the world of museums and how they work behind the exhibitions and shows. I can only imagine that I will continue to enjoy this job until I have to leave in July and I hope to get some legal work before starting again at university in the autumn. I feel that this job will give me a unique perspective that will help me when I go on to practice commercial law. Working here has given me an insight into the workings of a museum and also into the interests and needs of potential clients that I may encounter in the future.