It was the square piano in the parlor that captured the attention of Denison freshman Charlie Dykstal when he visited the museum with his art history class.

He wanted to know more, more about the piano, more about the furniture, more about the history, more about everything at RHM, so he just jumped right in. With the support of the art history department, Charlie now interns here eight hours a week through May. He plans to continue in the fall when he returns to classes.

It’s an Aster piano, Charlie has learned. Built around 1815 in England. His research tells him this was an everyday piano with brass strings that produce a compressed sound, a metallic sound. “Not very pleasing,” he said as he pressed on a key, but perhaps a piano that was used freely by the family for casual entertainment.

A few You Tube videos have led him to Aster owners and he’s tracking them down. He has lots of questions.

Charlie’s curiosity about the museum and its contents segue with his double major in cinema and art history. With his interest in film production, the highly regarded cinema department at Denison drew Charlie to the college from his home in Minneapolis. He’s chosen museum studies as his concentration in art history and that’s what brought him to RHM.

“The museum is beautiful,” he said. “I’ve been enjoying listening to the tapes of Robbins Hunter talking and just seeing the pictures and furniture. It makes great connections.”

Interning and volunteering are important focuses for the museum. If you have an interest in either, please let us know!