In the Loop
Student Stories : Sep 28, 2016

Museum studies student Elizabeth Bouton returns from New York City internship

By Katherine Loughrey

This summer, graduate student Elizabeth Bouton completed an exciting internship at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York City. The museum is a young institution, founded less than five years ago, which aims to bring morbidly fascinating collections to the general public.

Among other duties, Bouton undertook extensive research of the museum’s permanent collection, the results of which will be featured in an upcoming catalog of the collection. Bouton had many favorite objects in the collection including Diableries, 19th century tissue paper stereographs depicting “satiric scenes of the devil in various settings.” Much of her research was additionally published on Bouton’s website which includes information and stories behind some of her favorite objects from the permanent collection.

This internship ideally suited Bouton whose Master’s project in lieu of thesis stemmed from her forensic facial reconstruction of an Egyptian mummified skull, 3D printed from a CAT scan file. Bouton learned “a lot about the western view of death being quite negative versus other cultures embracing it.”

In addition to adding to her own research and interests, Bouton gained valuable work experience in a small museum setting, learning to thrive and succeed in that unique environment.

“Internships are important to gain relevant experience in your field of study,” Bouton states, “as well as a chance to network and explore a location you are interested in.”

Bouton is the first student from the University of Florida to work with the Morbid Anatomy Museum and has brought back a unique and flavorful perspective to the Museum Studies program after her internship. She is currently working with the Panama Canal Museum at the George A. Smathers Library.