From New Zealand to New York and now Nashville: HART’s new Visual Resources Curator Assistant Millie Fullmer

Book binding for a Paper Conservation course, Florence, Italy

Book binding for a paper conservation course (Florence, Italy)

Born and raised in Te Wai Pounamu, which translates “waters of greenstone” or as the European colonists creatively named it… the South Island of New Zealand (a.k.a. Aotearoa “land of the long white cloud”),  I suppose I have always been a southerner of sorts. Admittedly, the last six years were spent living in New York City, cultivating a fair amount of cynicism typical of urbanites.

In my chosen career, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, with a well-known ceramic artist father and a gallery director mother.  At university Art History was a no-brainer; my other major was Religious Studies, a result of growing up in a secular country intrigued by the religiosity of my American relatives, and the fanaticism that brought about 9/11.  After completing my B.A., I lived in London for a year, and then returned home to attend graduate school where I wrote my thesis, “Modernism’s Impact on Religious Art and Architecture.”

My latest preoccupation is folk art and outsider artists, so I am enjoying learning about local self-taught genius William Edmondson.

Since earning a masters degree in library and information science at New York’s Pratt Institute, my professional experience has been limited to traditional art librarianship (Metropolitan Museum of Art’s library and Columbia University’s Avery Library).  During my studies at the Pratt Institute, however,  I took several courses related specifically to emerging trends in digital humanities and the field of visual resources.  Art librarianship and visual resources are no longer considered mutually exclusive, and in joining the HART’s Visual Resources Center I am confident this will be demonstrated under the vision of our director Chris Strasbaugh. I feel quite fortunate to be working with such a supportive team, collaborating on such exciting projects as DIMLI and Scalar, and exposure to faculty research.  Another wonderful perk of my new employment is Vanderbilt’s many extracurricular engagements, especially gallery talks, visiting lecturers, film screenings, and perhaps the odd adventure through the Outdoor Recreation Center.

As for the city itself, Nashville has charmed me with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Country Music Hall of Fame, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, vintage shopping, farmer’s markets, cycling trails, lakes, the Belcourt Theatre, the “Bonut” (google it), and hipster coffee to rival Portland, Oregon.  Oh and I love the fireflies here!

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