To begin, lets learn a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up, attend H.S and college?
Kristin: I grew up in Milwaukee, went to Shorewood High School and college at Northwestern University.
When you were growing up, what were some of the fields of work you thought you might want to get involved with?
Kristin: I was primarily a musician growing up–piano, bassoon, singing in choirs, and always knew the arts interested me
when I got to college, I rebelled and studied art history because I thought it would be cool to work in an art museum
I was a liberal arts geek, and studying art history was fascinating to me.
A good decision! So what kind of work did you do after college that led you to working at the MMMA?
Kristin: Graduate school in art history at the U of M, internships at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Met in NY, the MIA
Curatorial jobs at the St. Louis Art Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum, gallery director at MCAD
It was probably all the contacts I made at those jobs that have been so important to what I’m doing now at MMAA.
Networking is always valuable! With there not being an actual museum space, at the moment, what does your role entail?
Kristin: Well, trying to resurrect an art museum is a full-time job! I need to encourage people to continue to support us.
I need to refine the vision and mission of the MMAA to remind people of our importance to the arts in Minnesota
I’m also taking care of our great art collection and getting it out for people to see and appreciate around MN.
To get the message out to everyone who will listen! This takes the form of exhibitions, articles, and Twitterviews!
Wonderful! Now isn’t there some kind of touring exhibit that lets people see some of the collection? Is there a website?
Kristin: Yes! Our Treasures is our current traveling show of great hits from the collection.
It began its tour at the Tweed in Duluth and is now at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
It continues to Carleton College, the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, and ends back up here at the Weisman next winter.
All the info is at http://www.mmaa.org. Fabulous art by Paul Manship, George Morrison, Joan Mitchell, great stuff!
What’s the cost to see the “Our Treasures” exhibit? Regarding fundraising, what are some options for the public to help?
Kristin: The show is free at all venues. It has a free treasure hunt brochure too for kids and families to investigate the art
We just restarted our membership program, so bringing everyone back to support the renaissance of MMAA is our goal.
$40 gets you reports on our events, exhibitions and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping us get reestablished.
We’re looking for volunteers to help out. And we also accept donations in any amount!
When you’re not being the Dir of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Two kids (15 and 11) keep me busy, but I also sing in the Plymouth Church choir, which keeps my music buds active.
But it’s a full-time job just keeping up with exhibition openings and art events after 5 pm and on weekends.
Thank you so much Kristin for sharing some of your life and work today on #MNMOtv. Have a great rest of the week!
Kristin: Thanks! This was fun!