Friday, May 24, 2013

Commencement and Career News


Yesterday, May 23, was my graduation from the CUNY Graduate Center. During the ceremony, I had conferred upon me my hood as a holder of the Ph.D. degree and I received my diploma. The ceremony was held at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. I was so happy to have my cousins the DG-JBs there, along with my good friends AA and JM. I know Momma was beaming with pride from above, and Papà was there in spirit, as were a number of my close friends and family. It's a rather startling moment to march across that stage, hear your name called out, and receive the official notification of your degree. I admit I started getting choked up, but I kept it together, determined to hear my name called out and enjoy with pride my moment. I began the Ph.D. program in Art History in August 2005, and along the way took numerous art history classes, did foreign reading language classes in German and French, took a ridiculous number of exams along the way, then finally had the opportunity begin work on my dissertation, which you will recall happened just last month. And now it's official. I'm Roberto C. Ferrari, Ph.D. Afterwards, a group of 10 of us went out for a lovely dinner (with cocktails!) at Robert's in the Museum of Art and Design building on Columbus Circle.

What makes this moment even more amazing, however, is that I also have a new job. I had been getting very concerned for over 8 months that things were getting more and more difficult, and I started to panic wondering how I even would be able to pay my rent. I had applied for numerous jobs but nothing seemed to be working out. Finally, my networking, experience, and determination paid off (thanks in part to the ongoing support of a number of close friends too). In the spirit of graduation being a true "commencement" (a beginning, not an ending!), starting June 10, I am the new Curator of Art Properties at Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. I am essentially in charge of the university's art collection, which ranges from ancient decorative arts and Chinese sculpture to photographs and public sculpture on campus. The job is a faculty-librarian position and has a strong educational component, but I also will be involved with conservation and digitization projects and working to publicize the collection as much as possible. I am absolutely thrilled to have been given this opportunity. Stay tuned on the blog though, as I'm sure there will be numerous Columbia-related art postings in the future!

For now, however, enjoy this short video showing my graduation ceremony with me receiving my hood and official congratulations (thanks, DG, for taking this video!). If for some reason you can't see the video, click here to see it on YouTube.

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