Museum Job Spotlight: Kylin Cummings
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My name is… Kylin Cummings
The name of my museum is… Sharlot Hall Museum
My job title is… Curator of Collections
What do you mostly work on?
The collections! No day is typical, but I mainly focus on overseeing activities that promote preservation of physical and intellectual aspects of the artifacts and the historic buildings.
What specific skills enable you to succeed in your job?
My attention to detail and organization skills play very important roles when in charge of preserving collections.
What is the best advice you ever received from a museum professional?
Speak up! Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions.
What advice would you give to the aspiring museum professional?
Volunteer and intern every chance you get! You may think you want to only work in a certain department, but I urge you to try many different jobs at many different places to make sure you really love the work. Also, experience is essential, and not just museum experience. A lot of skills translate over to the museum world.
How did you find your way into the museum industry?
I started out as a volunteer just trying to fill my time on Friday mornings. I started at a small town museum identifying shell fossils and loved it! I even quit my job and went back for my Master’s in order to make the jump into museums. I volunteered/interned in 4 different museums before landing my first full-time museum job as a Registrar. The experience gained allowed me to successfully move on to the job I am in now!
Please give a quick overview of your department/museum.
I work in the curatorial department. We are primarily responsible for maintaining and creating exhibitions, preserving the collection, and aiding in research. The Sharlot Hall Museum is an open-air museum featuring several historic buildings and structures, an exhibition center, library and archives, and garden.
What’s your favorite object or piece of art in your museum and why?
There are too many fascinating objects in our collection of over 40,000 to choose just one, but I think the most significant artifact to the community is the July 4, 1888 Prescott Frontier Days trophy. This trophy is proof that Prescott, AZ has the World’s Oldest Rodeo that still runs today!
see trophy below:
What is a story that most people don’t know about your museum or its collection?
Sharlot Hall was a person not a place. Sharlot Mabridth Hall (1870-1943), a poet, activist, politician, and Arizona’s first territorial historian founded the museum in 1928.
What inspires you about your museum’s mission?
The Sharlot Hall Museum’s mission covers many facets ranging from fostering the public’s understanding of the central area of Arizona to promoting our own involvement in the community we represent. I love the aspect where we aim to instill an appreciation of the historical, social, and natural aspects of Arizona in our visitors. It really guides us in our work.