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Reva Main ’12

Graduate Studies in Art History

I am currently pursuing my MA in the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside. My area of focus is the history of photography, with particular attention to color photography of the 1970s-80s and the collection and exhibition of color works by the museum; a topic I became interested in as a result of writing my undergraduate thesis on William Eggleston. While attending school, I am working as a collections assistant at the California Museum of Photography. This upcoming summer I will be interning at the Princeton University Art Museum, assisting with digitization and asset management of the Clarence White and Minor White archives.

Interest in Museums

Part of the reason I attended Willamette University was my interest in museums. Willamette’s affiliation with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art allowed me gain hands-on experience early in my undergraduate career. I began interning at the museum as a sophomore, continued volunteering throughout my junior year, and was hired as a work-study employee as a senior. Following graduation, I was awarded the Center for Ancient Studies Museology Internship, which allowed me to curate my first exhibition from the Hallie Ford’s permanent collection, Ray Trayle: Prints from the Legendary Presses. Through these positions, I was able to bring actual artworks into my study of art history and gain a real understanding of how a museum functions and the many career options it offered.

The Support of the Willamette Community

I cannot say enough kind words about the staff at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the faculty in the art and art history departments. They are all highly skilled professionals who care deeply about the lives and education of the students they work with.

Professor Susik actually introduced me to the person that is now my graduate thesis advisor. Last summer I was able to intern at the Art Institute of Chicago because WU alumna, Alisa Alexander, was kind enough to introduce me to a curator in the Prints and Drawings Department. The staff at the Hallie Ford actually helped me get my first job after graduation as an archivist for the Terry Toedtemeier Collection, a position that allowed me to discover my interest in collections management as a means of increasing public access to art historical materials.

The amount of encouragement offered by the Willamette community never ceases to amaze me. The passion of the faculty, staff, and students there significantly enhanced my Willamette experience and their ongoing support has been invaluable to furthering my own academic and professional career. 

— Reva Main, Winter 2014

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Reva Main pictured with a work by D.E. May at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, 2012


Honors and Awards

  • Recipient of Willamette University Department of Art History Honors
  • Co-recipient of The Roger P. Hull Art Museum Award
  • Co-recipent of The Joy Lorraine Hayhurst Award