#WFH Diaries: Angelina Lippert of Poster House

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the globe, we're checking in with people in the creative industry to see how they're doing. Here's an update from Angelina Lippert of Poster House in New York.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Chief curator of Poster House, the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to the art and history of the poster.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Me, myself and I are sequestered away on the Upper East Side. (Gordita, the foster dog in the photo above, has since moved on to another home.)

What's your work situation like at the moment?

We were the first museum in the U.S. to close in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, so I've been in my apartment nonstop since March 10. I often worked from home already since a huge part of my job is research and writing, which I prefer to do in a place where I can't be interrupted. That said, our exhibition calendar is now up in the air, and we needed to act quickly in order to stay relevant and interesting to our audience. So, a few of us really doubled down on our social media strategy and have been creating videos, blog posts and PSA campaigns that either raise awareness about public health and civic duty during this trying time or that celebrate poster history. I've never tried to be an "influencer" before, but if you go to our Instagram page I'm suddenly giving mini tours of the museum and of the art in my own home.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I'm not going to lie—it's rough. I am an incredibly social person, so not being able to leave my house or interact with people has been really, really difficult for me. Wine-fueled happy hours with co-workers over Google Hangouts has been a godsend, as has reconnecting via videochat with friends I haven't spoken with in years due to our equally demanding schedules. If I have any advice, it's reach out to people whom you were always "too busy" to talk with before this happened. The conversations are always great.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

I never thought I'd be happy to say I don't have kids, but I am thankfully not bearing that burden right now. I have such respect and admiration for my friends who work full time and are also now having to teach and entertain their children 24/7.

What are you reading?

Well, Poster House has a book club meeting coming up on Zoom, so I'm reading Interior Chinatown because that was paired with our current exhibition, The Sleeping Giant: Posters & The Chinese Economy. After that, I'm planning on diving into research for the next three exhibitions since when this is all over I'm still going to have to produce solid content for the museum.

What are you watching?

Other than my daily dose of Cuomo, I've started Downton Abbey and Little Fires Everywhere, finished Tiger King, and will move on to The Wire as soon as those are done. I've also decided now is the time to start watching all of the important films I've never found the time to watch, so last weekend I made it through The Godfather, and plan on hitting up Lawrence of Arabia, Chinatown, Once Upon a Time in America, and all the spaghetti Westerns soon. 

What are you listening to?

Spotify knows me well, and I'm letting them be my DJ.

How are you staying fit?

This is going to sound very bougie, but I'm FaceTiming with my old trainer, Jess (@jessiebda on Insta), who is now in Bermuda, and she puts me through literally the hardest workouts three or four mornings a week. This balances out my daily intake of Pirate's Booty and cheese slices.

Have you taken up a hobby?

The museum's new social media strategy is my hobby, lol!

Any tips for getting necessities?

If you can't find disposable gloves, doggy poop bags are super cheap and are great for grabbing doors/produce/etc. and then tossing in the trash.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Waving at people during the nightly 7 p.m. clap for healthcare workers and them not waving back (rude!).

Best work email you got since all this started.

We've started participating in the #museumpets hashtag on Instagram, so I put out a call to staff asking for pix of their pets. It turns out the mother of a member of our team is a show breeder, and does epic photo shoots featuring her dogs. So, I ended up with an inbox full of pugs dressed up as Jedis, characters from The Wizard of Oz, and geishas.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Stacking cookbooks on my kitchen island = instant standing desk. Also, there's a YouTube playlist of ambient café noises that almost convinces you you're working in a Starbucks.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Dude, we're not going anywhere til July. And then it will come back in the fall. Now's the time to get a boyfriend and buy that house upstate.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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