SARAH BARTLETT (BA ’00, anthropology, classical studies and political science)
Since the age of 7, Bartlett has been planning for a career. That started out as marine biology, but after writing a college essay talking about her passion for learning about history and other cultures, her mother suggested she look into anthropology.
Bartlett’s college career at Iowa State University began with a series of traumatic events. Despite the pain and stress, Bartlett refused to give up on her education and graduated in December 2020, amidst a world-wide pandemic, with degrees in anthropology, classical studies and political science.
“When I decided I wanted to go to Iowa State, I jumped in with anthropology and classical studies and never looked back,” she said.
Her goal is to curate exhibitions for museums, something she’s had practice with during her time at Iowa State. Last fall, Bartlett was named University Museums’ inaugural Lynette L. Pohlman Museum Fellow, an opportunity that allowed her to manage the “Contemplate Japan” exhibition and curate her own: “A New World: 600 BCE – 600 CE,” at the Brunnier Art Museum in fall of 2020.
“I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had at Iowa State,” she said. “I can’t imagine having this combination of excavation experience, study abroad experience and museum experience anywhere else.”
Bartlett is now pursuing her graduate degree at Iowa State.
Jason Kogan, University Museums donor: I see a young, modern woman, maybe early twenties, looking into the future. A soon to be college graduate. She exudes intelligence. She is ready to pursue her new life. Eyes full of curiosity yet wondering what life holds for her next. At the same time, she has goals to achieve. Educational and personal goals. She has a plan. She knows what further studies she will undertake and the career that she envisions after completing her studies. She intends to reach her goals as fast as possible. Without delay. Underlying her seemingly calm composure is a backstop of confidence. She can do it. Reality, practicality or economic feasibility will not deter her. She is determined to achieve what she will set out to do.
She is a people person. Youthful warmth exudes from her gaze. She wants to learn. From people. From books. From hands-on experience. Always learning. Always moving. Never still for very long.
Art, through painting, can capture the essence of a person in some ways that other media cannot. Art can afford greater opportunity for interpretation by the artist as well as allowing the viewer a greater latitude for interpretation and connectedness to the subject being portrayed by the artist. This painting is a current example. The brushstrokes, the backdrop, the shades of coloring and the shape of her expression allows me, as the viewer, to interpret, and even connect to, what might be this woman’s true persona.