A day in the life of Claire Jenson

Claire Jenson
© Olivier Combres

A day in the life of Claire Jenson

Art History Major, Oberlin College
CUPA Year 2010-2011

As a medieval art history major, a typical day for me would include a large amount of time in Paris’ excellent libraries, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t able to enjoy the city. For example, take one Thursday; finishing a commentaire d’œuvre for an iconography class at Paris Ouest –Nanterre, I spent the morning at the Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, whose Reserve collection houses a wide selection of art history publications as well as rare books and manuscripts. I made sure to finish around midi so I could take a leisurely walk past the Panthéon down rue Soufflot to arrive at the Musée National du Moyen-Âge: hôtel et thermes de Cluny for a lecture on Gothic ivories by a museum conservator at 12h30. Class at 14h00 in the Galerie Colbert, a 19th-century covered passageway in the 1st arrondisement; I hopped on the metro and got a glimpse of the Opéra Garnier on my way out of the station. After my class, La liturgie médiévale occidentale et ses rituels at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, I grabbed a baguette sandwich and enjoyed a moment in the sun in the garden of the Palais Royal. I spent the afternoon at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, continuing my individual research on a 13th-century illuminated manuscript from Beauvais. It’s good that the library closed at 8; I needed to rush over to the 16th to attend a South African dance performance at the Théâtre National de Chaillot with CUPA. The day ended with friends at a nearby café, where we all shared Paris stories, stressed about papers, and planned new adventures.

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