Arts & Humanities

UGA alumna making history through art

As a UGA student, Nina Goodall AB '17 interned at the Georgia Museum of Art and Atlanta's High Museum of Art. After graduating, she earned a prestigious fellowship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where she wrote the historical materials for an upcoming exhibition highlighting French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. (Nina Goodall/Special)

On Sept. 9, “Corot: Women,” an exhibition highlighting the work of the 19th century French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot opens for a nearly four-month run at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Nina Goodall AB ’17 wrote the book on it.

Her work makes up the exhibition historical materials that will appear online and as part of a digital publication. The project was the centerpiece of an eight-month internship at the National Gallery she completed in May. Goodall was one of six emerging museum professionals chosen from an international group of applicants for the job.

“This opportunity is special because being able to put together an exhibition history is required for any curator, and my dream is to become a curator,” Goodall says.

The dream came along relatively recently, but it’s one Goodall is well on her way to fulfilling. Upon entering UGA, the Marietta native intended to major in international affairs before a freshman art history course introduced her to a new path.

“I felt like art history was more of a visual experience,” she says. “Through art you can understand different time periods and cultures.”

After switching her major to art history, Goodall didn’t limit herself to any particular time period or genre, and she pursued every learning opportunity she could find. Goodall interned at the Georgia Museum of Art, working in the African American collection. Her honors thesis was an exploration of concrete art and fascism in 1940s Argentina. And she earned a multiyear fellowship at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, which was her introduction to curating.

Most curators have their doctorates, so Goodall isn’t done with school yet, but with the breadth of experience she has collected less than one year out of UGA, she is well positioned for a long museum career.

“At the National Gallery, curators are really valued because they are public servants,” she says. “I hope that when I’m a curator I’ll be able to express my love of art and encourage the public to get excited about it, too.”

This story first appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of Georgia Magazine.