I loved that project because the whole time I was kind of reliving the experience, and I got to listen to all of the artists and the sounds from New Orleans again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I felt that having the opportunity to listen to the artists themselves speak about their work right in front of their art was powerful.Caroline Frank, Duke Class of 2018
Caroline Frank’s parents gave her a choice: Christmas presents or New Orleans. The Duke senior did not hesitate. She picked the Big Easy, traveling with the Nasher Museum’s marketing department in November 2017 for the opening weekend of Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, the citywide exhibition curated by Nasher Museum Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs Trevor Schoonmaker. Deputized as “photographer’s assistant,” Caroline attended the glittery gala with some of the world’s foremost contemporary artists and museum directors. She took a ferry across the Mississippi River, rode a street car, hunted down an antiques shop deep in the French Quarter, visited four art museums and walked for miles in search of site-specific art. She posted many images to social media. She wore big headphones and wielded a microphone, gathering audio recordings of artists talking about their work.
Back at Duke, Caroline transcribed several hours of audio recordings from New Orleans and helped draft the script for what became an audio postcard, published on the Nasher Museum’s Soundcloud channel.
Growing up in Darien, Connecticut, Caroline remembers drawing and painting for hours as a little girl. Her older brother and sister gave her a drawing pad and pens in the sixth grade—definitely a turning point, she says. “I honestly owe it to them.”
At Duke, Caroline’s favorite class was Social History of Art Markets, taught by Professor Hans J. Van Miegroet. “It’s the first time that I ever felt remotely interested in economics and I found a new fascination with art markets.”
Another first art history course convinced her to declare that major: History of Impressionism, taught by Mark Antliff, Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.
Summers were important to Caroline’s art education, too. She took painting classes at Parsons School of Design in summer. She worked at Winston Wächter Fine Art gallery in Chelsea, the following summer.
Another highlight for Caroline at Duke was winning a Sotheby’s Research Award for a paper co-written with fellow student Jason Kaplan, “Der Berliner Kunstmarkt, 1930 – 1945.” They presented it together at the Art Library Society of North America conference in New York in February 2018.
Caroline graduated in May 2018 and accepted a three-month internship with Phillips Auction House in New York City. “I don’t see myself ever not surrounding myself with art in some way,” she says. “It has to be a part of my life. It always has been.”