Name: Caroline New
Title: Grants Manager
Company: Philadelphia Museum of Art
Q: Tell the YPN members about yourself.
A: I graduated from Penn’s College of Arts & Sciences in 2008 with my degree in the History of Art. I have since completed my Master’s at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, interned at The National Gallery there, and returned to this city to begin my career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art…with other successes along the way, including my first marathon and several triathlons!
Q: How long have you been a YPN member?
A: I became a YPN member within the past year upon attending an event through the Chamber of Commerce. The exposure to a wide network of professionals through that event made me realize how useful such a membership would be to develop my business contacts and learn more about what we are all working to do – make Philadelphia a great place to live and work.
Q: How have you benefitted from YPN membership?
A: YPN membership connects me with other young professionals in Philadelphia, through LinkedIn and local events. Opportunities for service, networking, and involvement are always there – I just try to make time to participate as much as I can!
Q: Tell us about what you do at Philadelphia Museum of Art.
A: I am now a Grants Manager at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and raise funds to support our special exhibitions, such as Van Gogh Up Close, which closed this spring, Visions of Arcadia, which is on view now, and Dancing around the Bride, which will open this fall. I first visited the Art Museum as a freshman, and later, with my art history focus, I was able to spend hours at the Museum for coursework, comparing and analyzing paintings, sketching in the galleries, hearing lectures that brought the objects to life, and developing a respect and passion for all that the Museum does. I chose Penn precisely because it’s located in a major city and I wanted to infuse my college experience with history and culture. I am thrilled to have landed a job that brought me back after my time abroad. At this moment, Philadelphia’s arts and culture scene is incredibly dynamic and evolving – I love being a part of it.
Q: If you could sit down and have a conversation with three artists, who would they be and why?
A: Marcel Duchamp would top my list. The Art Museum is home to major holdings of his work, and I can’t help but visit the Duchamp gallery from time to time on my lunch breaks or between meetings. I’ve learned how he challenged conventional thought about art with his found objects and ready-made sculptures, insisting that everyday objects could be considered art. I also love photography, having once thought I’d pursue a career in photojournalism. A conversation with Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, and Mary Ellen Mark would be most intriguing, since they all have specialized in closely observing other people and capturing their subjects with such profound compassion and intimacy. I actually met Mary Ellen Mark at her studio in New York last year, in advance of an exhibition of her Prom series, which is at the Art Museum now. I love being able to participate in these behind-the-scenes happenings and see how The Art World works.
Q: What are your long-term career goals?
A: I walk into the office every day and am awed and inspired – by the Museum’s stunning architecture, by my intelligent and dedicated colleagues, by our world-renowned collection, by our engaging exhibitions and educational programs, and by the looks of wonder on the faces of schoolchildren who are visiting the Museum for the very first time. I see the impact of what I do, knowing that I contribute to the vibrancy of this city by working for one of our finest civic institutions. It’s this sense of purpose, that I’m contributing to our mission, which makes my work meaningful. No matter where my career takes me, I want to know that I’m making a difference.
Q: What has been the most life changing experience you have had?
A: Training for and finishing the Philadelphia Marathon in 2011 changed my life. I didn’t miss a single workout during the 18 weeks of training! As with my Penn degree, I proved to myself that commitment, consistency, and hard work can lead to achievements that I may have once doubted were even possible.
Q: What would you say to someone considering getting involved in YPN?
A: It’s worth it! If you are a young professional living and working in the Greater Philadelphia region, and are interested in topics that affect our community, you can build your network and learn from others like us by joining YPN.