Drawing detective: An intern’s perspective

Snapshot interview with Research Assistant, drawings intern, IMaC award recipient and Melbourne University student, Sakina Nomanbhoy.

Sakina Nomanbhoy, Research Assistant, drawings
Sakina Nomanbhoy, Research Assistant, drawings

Name: Sakina Nomanbhoy

Degree: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Art History

Can you tell me a little bit about your role at the library?

As a research assistant, I have completed in-depth research into a double-sided drawing after Rembrandt that is part of the drawing collection housed within the Baillieu Library Print Collection.

What information are you looking for in your research?

I investigated the artist details, attributions, dates and related works in order to determine whether Rembrandt or one of his followers had created the double-sided drawing. In order to corroborate facts, I also sought expert advice from visual art professionals in external cultural institutions such as the British Museum and the V&A Museum.

What will be your contribution to the Print Collection?

The information that I have uncovered about these two drawings has improved the understanding of the drawing within the context of Western art history. This has helped determine whether the artwork should be included in an exhibition next year. Additionally, all newly found information about these drawings will be added to the EMu (Electronic Museum) database, which will serve to enhance and expand the collection catalogue.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve found so far?

The fact that Rembrandt had a huge following in 18th century France!

What do you hope to gain from this internship?

I hope to enhance my knowledge of prints, drawings and painting techniques as well as improve my research skills and methods. I would also like to further develop my collection management principles, specifically to the documentation of museum objects.

What do you hope to do once you’re finished with university?

At this point, I do not have a concrete plan but I would like to work within the Museum and Cultural sector, hopefully something involving the handling of art.

As the recent, recipient of the International Museums and Cultural (IMaC) award, I am hoping that my month-long internship with the University of Birmingham’s museums and cultural collections will help narrow down my interests.

Favourite artist:

It is hard to pinpoint a particular artist but I love the colors and textures in Claude Monet’s artworks. I also really like the works of the Pre-Raphelite Brotherhood.

Favourite artwork:

Rain, Steam and Speed by J.M.W Turner


Reading, knitting and collaging.

Dream job:

I am not too sure but definitely something to do with art!

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