Museum Job Spotlight: Katherine Roman Aquino
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My name is… Katherine Roman Aquino
The name of my museum is… Museo de Sitio Julio C. Tello de Paracas
My job title is… Archaeologist Assistant
What do you mostly work on?
As a curator of the permanent and temporal exhibitions. I am also in charge of the publications and coordinate the pedagogical area.
What is the best advice you ever received from a museum professional?
“Don’t take it personally.”
What advice would you give to the aspiring museum professional?
To get to know the local community. They can be powerful and great allies.
What is your earliest memory of being in a museum?
My earliest memories in the museum are at age 4. My mother used to take me to the theater on Saturday mornings and after that, all the kids including me would run towards the museum of Pre-Columbian art. So many kids used to go to the museum that they decided to open a room just for kids and gave us pictures with the Pre-Colombian material that they exhibited to color.
How did you find your way into the museum industry?
As an archaeologist, I notice that a lot of material culture had been studied but hasn’t been displayed to the public or updated in exhibition halls. So, I took an opening at a private museum where I was the Assistant Curator of the Pre-Columbian area and creation of collections.
Please give a quick overview of your department/museum.
This is a site museum that talks about the Paracas Culture (Peru- Ica). The museum is inside a Natural Reserve and it is surrounded by two archaeological sites – in one of them, they found 429 mummy bundles. The museum was rebuilt after an earthquake in 2007. The new building was designed by Jean Pierre Crousse and Sandra Barclay.
I am an archaeologist but also have curating experience. I was hired as the curator for the re-opening on July 18th, 2016 and I am still in charge of that position.
What’s your favorite object or piece of art in your museum and why?
I have two favorite objects which are painted textiles. The first time I saw them were in a very bad condition but I managed to get funds for their conservation. Now, they are in the exhibition. The first one indicates the connections Paracas had with other societies from different regions, you can tell by the images in them. The second one shows us a very well known deity which has been named The Oculated Being.
What is a story that most people don’t know about your museum or its collection?
One of the most honest Peruvian presidents went to the museum in 1964 for its opening.
What inspires you about your museum’s mission?
What moves me is the mission to make the museum a place where the whole community recognizes itself as the descendants of a rich heritage.