Meet the Board:
Shoshana is curator at the Wolfsonian-FIU in Miami Beach, Florida.
What do you like about being involved with the Society of Winterthur Fellows?
I love the camaraderie and sense of community offered by the Society of Winterthur Fellows. It's a close-knit alumni network, and I appreciate that I can call upon decades of professional experience and connections as I continue in my career. Connecting with students who have graduated after me is amazing as well; I can provide for them the same kind of support and advice that older graduates gave to me when I was first starting out.
Give me a funny anecdote or memorable moment from your days as a Fellow.
When Wendy Cooper, Curator Emerita of Furniture, taught the Furniture Block in "Connoisseurship I," she included a weekly sketching assignment as part of our grade. One week I was sketching in the Maple Bedroom and ended up nodding off in front of a high chest. I woke up when I heard a guide leading a group of visitors down the hall. Panicked and a little disoriented, I slid behind the bed and hid, barely breathing, until they walked through the room and continued on. I don't even know why I was so anxious—the guides love it when they run into students hard at work in the galleries!
What words of advice do you have for current Fellows?
I honestly think that there's no better resource at Winterthur than your classmates. They are your friends and your support network as you go through this program, and they will only become more valuable to you after you graduate. I regularly email and call my cohort for advice, consultation, or just to catch up. I trust their judgement and critical eye, and I know they trust mine.
Also, be open to experimenting. Maybe you think you're a brown furniture person, but you should still take a twentieth century sculpture course at the university. Or maybe you came in wanting to focus on vernacular architecture, but it turns out you have a real knack for eighteenth-century maritime art. You won't know it until you try, so go outside your comfort zone and see what happens!
Oh, and finally: get outside and walk around Azalea Woods—you won't regret it.