Hi, my name is Peter and this is my second year in a row doing a week’s work experience at the Charterhouse. As an artist, and one who is especially interested in architecture, I love the character of the Charterhouse. Despite being built across many time periods, the different styles of architecture merge wonderfully to create a building that is full of beauty and yet fully functional and accessible. Sitting on one of the benches in Master’s Courtyard, one feels completely away from the hubbub of city life and enjoys peace, tranquility and a sense of awe that simply can’t be found anywhere else in the city.
Last year when I did work experience I did a small amount of data based work, which admittedly was rather dreary, but taught me that it’s important, especially in today’s fast paced society, that organisations such as the Charterhouse function efficiently. I also worked for the most part with the Estates team who inspired my current love of architecture and taught me that a building is a living thing that grows and changes in the same way that we do, and therefore requires a huge amount of care and effort to maintain. Finally, I was given a behind the scenes tour of the Museum of London and met with conservators, archaeologists and museum coordinators.
This year, I have been introduced to the new Charterhouse museum, which was in construction when I visited last year, and discovered William Makepeace Thackeray, who I was overjoyed to discover shares a similar drawing style to me. I was also given some more data based work, which again made me note the efficiency required to run this establishment. Additionally, I worked with Front of House welcoming visitors to the Museum. I learnt about the upkeep and importance of a museum shop and how to work the cash register. Earlier in the week I had a talk with the Learning Programme Manager who taught me the importance (and challenge) of marketing, especially to schools. This taught me a lot about slightly more advanced advertising techniques than I had been taught in school.
The Charterhouse is chock full of friendly people, both staff and Brothers alike, who love talking about the deep and thoroughly interesting history of this wonderful place, and even occasionally the odd story from their own lives which are fascinating and add to the Charterhouse’s continuing history.
Original Charterhouse artwork created by Peter Philips