Allison Smith recently joined the Annual Programs team in August 2013, Julie Crites sat down with her this fall to chat about museums, art, and working at the MFA.

Julie Crites: So, Allison what brought you to the MFA?

Allison Smith: Before I joined our team this summer, I was working as an MFA Ambassador for the past year. It’s a great program designed to bring college students into the Museum through work-study positions to help visitors way-find and learn more about the collection. Over the course of the 2012-2013 school year, my senior year at Boston University, I was fortunate to spend lots of time in the MFA, when the job opened as part of the Annual Programs team, I jumped at the opportunity!

JC: Ok, I’ve got a follow up question, when you were working in the galleries, what was the most common question you have been asked while in the galleries?

AS: Hands down, “Where is the bathroom?” is the top visitor question! But, one of my favorite experiences with a visitor was when a little girl came to the MFA with her mother to see Degas’ sculpture, La petite danseuse de quatorze ans, the beautiful bronze sculpture that is a centerpiece of the Museum’s Impressionist gallery. The little girl was all dressed up like Degas’ ballerina head to toe and was carrying a children’s book inspired by the sculpture, “Degas and the Little Dancer” by Laurence Anholt. She was so incredibly excited to be at the Museum to see the sculpture, her happiness and enthusiasm was contagious!

JC: Speaking of works of art at the MFA, do you have a favorite on view?

AS: It is hard to choose from so many great ones, but a top one for me is Stuart Davis’s Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors – 7th Avenue Style (a detail pictured above). It’s located on the 3rd floor of the Art of the Americas Wing. I love American Modernism and this particular painting really brings together painting and music. Davis actually listened to jazz as he painted this work and I love the experience of being able to ‘see’ the music in this work. Music has been a big part of my life since I was young from singing in a capella groups in high school and college to making regular visits to Boston Symphony Orchestra and other live concerts today, so this work just resonates with me because it brings together two of the things I love the most: art and music.

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Image: Stuart Davis, Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors – 7th Avenue Style (detail), 1940. Oil on canvas.