I recently came across the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s excellent “Meet the MIA” set on Flickr, and I couldn’t help but go through all the photos in one sitting. No, I wasn’t procrastinating; it was just a fun way to get to know my fellow museum colleagues at the MIA through creative photos and entertaining interviews. Not only did these interviews give me some insight into what people do at the MIA, but they exposed the unique personalities and interests of their employees. More notably, it put a personal face on an institution that I wasn’t that familiar with—an idea right in line with our mission here at the Brooklyn Museum.
By now you’ve probably become acquainted with our staff through blog posts that detail new projects we’re working on, or by reading our recommendations for the best nosh in the neighborhood, but we thought we’d give you one more way to get to know those who keep the Brooklyn Museum running on a daily basis. So, we’re taking a cue from the MIA to introduce you to our very own talented team in a Flickr set called “Brooklyn’s Finest.” We’re going to be adding a new staff profile to this set on a monthly basis, and we’ll keep you informed on when it’s updated: Members will get acquainted with our staff in the Membership e-newsletter, and I will also blog about each new profile here.
To kick off this feature, I’d like to introduce you to Mary Jane Nee, Assistant Manager of Visitor Services. You may have encountered Mary Jane in the Museum’s lobby making sure our visitors are taken care of, or perhaps you saw her clad in Victorian costume at the Members Preview for Yinka Shonibare MBE (when the artist was so enamored with her inspired attire that he proposed marriage) but here are some things you probably didn’t know about her:
Where are you originally from?
Santa Cruz, California.
What do you do here?
I manage the admissions desk in the lobby. In a broader sense, I act as an advocate for the visitor and uphold our mission of being the most visitor-friendly museum.
What is the funniest or most interesting experience you’ve had while working here?
Probably the funniest, and most bizarre, thing I’ve done was at the closing of ©MURAKAMI. It was a really long and intensive exhibition in terms of the crowds so, as a reward, I promised my staff I would gallop around the Visitors Center on my toy pony. So after we made our last ticket sales, I hopped on the pony and did several rounds while making horse noises, much to the amusement of my staff (and myself).
Nitasha Kawatra worked in Membership at the Brooklyn Museum from April 2008 to November 2010. Known as Tash amongst friends, she was born and raised in Memphis, TN and received her BA in Art History and French from Bowdoin College in Maine. She completed part of her studies in Paris, France and also interned at the La Napoule Art Foundation outside of Cannes. Prior to the Brooklyn Museum, Tash coordinated educational travel programs for members of non-profit institutions. Tash now works in Membership at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.