Meet the Staff: Carolyn Allmendinger

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CAllmendingerCAROLYN ALLMENDINGER is the Ackland’s Director of Academic Programs.

How long have you been at the Ackland?

I started working at the Ackland in fall 1999.

What brought you to the Ackland?

I had just finished graduate school in art history and was trying to figure out what kind of career I wanted to pursue (some people do that before they finish school; others change their mind a few times). There was a part-time position available as an editor for the Ackland’s catalogue of European drawings. I got that position and quickly discovered I wanted a career working in an art museum. As the editing work began to wind down, another position opened – teaching university classes from various academic disciplines with art objects in the galleries. Once I started doing that, I was completely hooked.

What do you do at the Ackland?

I lead the team that runs our education programs – for University students and faculty, for K12 students and teachers, and for community organizations. I also manage our student internship program.

What is a memorable Ackland experience?

In spring 2015, our special exhibition was Genius and Grace: François Boucher and the Generation of 1700. To accompany the exhibition, our Manager of Public Programs, Allison Portnow, curated a playlist of music from that period of French history. I loved experiencing the drawings in the show together with music that artists and collectors might have listened to.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Ackland?

Every time I talk about a work of art with a new group of people, they help me see something I’ve never noticed before, think about it a new way, and learn something I might not otherwise have learned…which I can then share with another group of people the next time I’m discussing that work of art with them. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve looked at and taught with it before. There’s always a hidden detail and a fresh perspective to discover.

See. More. Art. What is your favorite arts experience in the Triangle?

I always enjoy my visits to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke, and I’m not afraid to say it online – even in this season of athletic rivalries!