Angelina Lippert, Chief Curator: Museum Job Spotlight
My name is… Angelina Lippert
The name of my museum is… Poster House
My job title is… Chief Curator
What’s your day to day like? What are your main responsibilities?
Poster House is a new museum, which means my job changes and evolves very rapidly as we lead up to the opening in Spring 2019. Right now, my major responsibilities are coming up with & researching compelling shows and then securing collections from which we can borrow key pieces. I also manage our various social media channels because we feel having a curator who really knows the material rather than a marketing intern doing that adds a lot of depth to the content.
What is your absolute favorite part of your job? ?
Being part of something new is incredibly rewarding. Since we’re building the museum as we go, all of us are giving far greater freedom for creativity than we generally would at an already-established institution, and that lack of red tape is amazing. I feel like I have a voice in the way posters will be received and appreciated in the future, and I wouldn’t be able to shape that discourse if I didn’t have a Museum Director that understood and appreciated my vision and expertise.
What advice would you give someone that wants to work in your profession?
Find a niche and stick with it, and don’t be afraid to start at a smaller institution. When I got out of school, I wanted to be a Russian art expert for Sotheby’s – but so did a ton of other people. So I fell into an obscure internship that wasn’t really in a field I knew much about. Luckily, the person who ran the auction house was very generous with his knowledge and allowed me to get very involved with all aspects of posters – a privilege I wouldn’t have had at a larger institution. Ten years later, I’m one of a handful of people that specializes in poster art and history, and that made me an attractive candidate for a museum focused on posters.
What is the best part about working in the museum industry? ??
The camaraderie is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Coming from sales, I’m used to people being a bit cutthroat and opportunistic – museum people are the exact opposite! I’ve had curators and marketing directors literally go out of their way for tiny little requests or questions – and that generosity just leads to a better, more positive industry.
What part of your job is the most surprising?
Balancing a budget. Just kidding! The most surprising and perhaps one of my favorite parts of my job is working with an exhibition designer who really understands my vision and manages to make it better every time. Collaborating with anyone can be challenging, but if you find the right person who both understands how you think and then asks questions and presents concepts that make your ideas even better, then you’ve struck gold.
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