It was amazing to receive the scholarship from Rave Foundation for 4 months in Germany. During my stay in the two cities – Dresden and Leipzig, I had so many useful experiences about the management of museum, and I was lucky because I had the chance to do the internship in a big institution of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, with various kinds of museums and galleries. This was very important for me because I come from a country that lack of professionals in museum field. So working in one of many good museums in Europe, especially in Germany was until now the best experience for my career forward.
I had the internship in two ethnological museums owned by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, they were in Leipzig and Dresden. My first term of internship was from middle August until the end of September in Museum fuer Voelkerkunde Dresden. Here, I got the first impression about the situation of museum in Germany, how the organisation of the museum, how they work and also how they manage the exhibition. I also had a glance on how the restorators and the technical department of this museum work. But I was first only observing. In this museum I had the chance to do some scientifical works with the collections from Indonesia. It was great because it made me learn about my own culture and I could see how the Europeans see my culture.
In this scientifical work, I had the responsibility to make the description of some old objects of wayang puppets, batiks, and some objects of the chinese Indonesian culture. I also learned how to make a good digital photo of objects, the catalogue systems and the database of the collections. Beside making the descriptions for the archives of the museum, I also prepared some for the database of Virtual Collection of Masterpiece (VCM), the online catalogue of museum from around the world.
I did some educational programs with the department of education. I learned on how to prepare the materials for workshops and guided tours, and how to deal with smaller and older children. This experience with the education department of museum in Dresden was very important because I had to make my own programs for children for the museum in Leipzig, where I had my internship for the second term.
My removal to Leipzig allowed me to see a great permanent exhibition organised by GRASSI Museum fuer Voelkerkunde. I saw how they created a really great and convinient exhibition room, and the technologies that they use to support the exhibition. But my main task here was to present some batik workshops for children and adults, therefore in this museum I was fully working in the education department. I started my days in Leipzig assisting some programs for children, like kid’s birthday, school workshop and special guided tours for children. Then I had to prepare for my own workshops. For this preparation I made some trials with the help of my colleagues.
I had three workshops here, one was for children, one for adults and one for my colleagues in Leipzig. I began the workshops for children and adults by showing them the batik in the showcases of the museum, and telling the history and the real traditional process of making batik. Then we did the workshops. I was glad and proud to see how the people were interested of the process of batik making and that they were eager to try that. I have to say that all the workshops were great, I made some new friends and exchanged knowledges with the participants. I also had one day chance to do batik demonstration on the exhibition room. It was a pleasure for me to talk with the visitors of the museum and explain them about my own heritage. During this period I made a visit to Berlin because my embassy asked me to do the same workshop in the Labyrinth Museum in Berlin. The workshop was successful and I had some impressions of great museums in Berlin.
My third term of internship was back in Dresden again. This time I involved in some projects while continue on doing scientifical works. First I had to help on preparing the winter gallery, especially on the inventory process. I was trusted to select some things to be sold at the gallery, especially things that came from Indonesia, defining the quality and responsible for the pricing. I also participated at the opening ceremony of the winter gallery. From this event I learned about how the museum funds itself and who the important stakeholders that support the existence of a museum are. Another task that I had was to make a preparation of a small exhibition that will be opened on the beginning of 2012.
This task was quiet challenging because I felt that this was really new for me. The exhibition will be about models, ranging from ship models, house models, household models, etc. I had to cooperate with the catalogue department to know all the models that the museum has, then I need to choose among those models, the objects that might be suitable for the exhibition. Then I made some photos of the objects, and discussed with the restorators about the condition of the objects. The last thing I did was designing the display on the chosen and approved objects. I had a brand new experience while preparing this exhibition and I was so excited about it.
During my stay, I only had one problem: language. I should had be able to speak and understand better of German. Unfortunately, because I had to move from one city and another, I couldn’t find a proper program from a language course. But all the colleagues were so nice a supportive. I would like to thank Ms. Petra Martin, the curator for South East Asia and also my supervisor for this program, for all the chances, the knowledges and hospitality that she’s given to me. Also for the colleagues in Leipzig, Ms. Christine Fischer, Mr. Dietmar Grundmann and Mr. Reinhard Wagenknecht.
I would like also to thank all the people in Rave Foundation for the scholarship that made me have this experience for having an internship in Dresden and Leipzig, and had the chance to conduct a workshop in Berlin. With this chance I was able to visit many museums and galleries, improving my language skill, and had interactions with various kinds of people from around the world. I believe this knowledge that I have now, will help me in my future career and I hope I can make a better condition for the situations of museums in Indonesia. I really appreciate the Rave Foundation for giving the chance for young people from third world countries to work in museums in Germany. I think this program is really usefull for those who want to learn about museum.