The Armenian Museum of America in Watertown is updating its space under the leadership of new Executive Director Jennifer Liston Munson. The museum will open its new gallery to public in November, Wicked Local reports.
Munson has an extensive art background and worked as a senior member of the Exhibitions and Designs department at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Before becoming executive director, she had collaborated on many projects and exhibitions with the Armenian Museum.
Munson wants the museum to be a place of discovery. A place where Armenian-Americans can connect to their heritage, and also a place where people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds can learn how integrated the Armenian experience is with American culture and identity.
“We are creating a space to welcome people, to educate, and to enlighten,” she said.
Munson is also introducing new exhibition concepts. She wants to create a space that is dynamic rather than stagnant. To do this, she is organizing cultural events. Some might feature Armenian music, of Armenian cooking, but the idea is to bring art alive.
Munson is also creating an introduction gallery. The gallery will be at the front of the museum entrance and will highlight different Armenian artifacts every month. The artifacts will be accompanied by descriptions narrating their different histories, and how each came to the museum.
The museum has permanent collections that highlight Armenia’s ancient history and the genocide. Munson is also working to integrate more about the Armenia diaspora which is not a well-known tale.
Munson is a non-Armenian trying to tell the Armenian story. However, she believes that sometimes it takes somebody from the outside to help tell the story in a way that will connect with everyone. Her museum background and expertise, she believes will allow her to do this successfully.