Elizabeth Gerczak

Art History

I was an intern in the department of rare books, manuscripts and maps at Freeman’s. Freeman’s is the oldest auction house in America, founded in 1805, and family owned. Our goal for the summer was to get ready for a sale. I photographed books for online cataloging for an online sale. When taking photos of the books, I was able to go through them and organize them for the actual sale and for the exhibition. Freeman’s has two to three sales a year and a few minor sales interspersed.

My internship has been a great experience. It has been great to learn about a type of art market I’ve never been involved with. I was very interested in Freeman’s. I knew if I went to a museum I wouldn’t get to have as much of a hands-on experience as a small auction house.

I learned to have a better understanding of the history of books and print and what makes them rare and important to auction and the business aspect of the art market. I want to work in an auction house after graduation – I liked working with rare things – it makes it so interesting. At first I was nervous about the internship, but it has been wonderful.