Congratulations to Art History MCHS alumna Charlie Farrell (MA ’22), who is the 2022-2024 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Romare Bearden Fellowship is nationally renowned as one of the oldest and most robust museum programs in the country dedicated to increasing diversity among professional staff in the museum field.
Farrell received a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Art History, both from Florida State University. During her gap year between undergraduate and graduate programs, she interned with the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum in Quincy, Florida, contributing research, oral histories and installation assistance for the exhibition “From the Cedar Chest: Southern Quilting, 1830s to Today.” As a graduate student, she interned with the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, researching artists, optimizing social media and coordinating virtual programs. She also completed a year-long internship at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art as part of her graduate program in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies, in which she helped to prepare and implement the Art of Performance series.
The Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship was founded in 1991 as an undergraduate fellowship and redefined as a graduate program in 1992. Last year, the museum expanded the 31-year-old program to a two-year paid fellowship with one new fellow beginning each year, allowing first-year fellows to work closely with those completing their second year of the program. As of 2020, there had been 27 Bearden fellows, 90 percent of whom are still actively working in prominent positions across the arts and cultural field.
In the few months since I began, I’ve had the pleasure to learn about the collection and meet staff across the museum. I’m looking forward to developing my curatorial and research abilities as well as getting to know the art community in St. Louis. The fellowship serves as an opportunity to further develop one’s professional skillset. I’m currently working on projects relating to accessibility, development, research, and a public program. One of my first projects is a brochure highlighting African and African American art in the Museum’s collection. I’ll be sure to send one to my alma mater when the brochure is ready!