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Rebecca Morse ’93

Curating an exhibition leads to career in major museum.

Rebecca (Hedjuk) Morse ’93 (art history) cites a class with Paul Kaplan, a professor of art history, that piqued her interest in the way communities were represented in art by other communities.

For her senior project, she spent a year preparing an exhibition that was mounted at the Neuberger Museum of Art. Dismantling Stereotypes: Images of Native Americans Past and Present explored the way in which Native American communities were represented by outsiders and how they pictured themselves.

With no curatorial experience, she worked with every museum department to research, plan, and execute the exhibition, including visiting artists’ studios to select work, securing the loan of the artworks, producing a brochure, planning educational programs, and hanging the show.

“It was an amazing experience. The Neuberger is a teaching institution and everybody was really interested and helpful,” she recalls. The experience not only showed her all the ways available to participate in museum work, it left her feeling confident and proud.

“It was very professional. I attended meetings at 9 o’clock in the morning and I remember how everyone was impressed,” she says, laughing. “That was really meaningful and stuck with me. It gave me a lot of confidence that I could be a professional even at that young age.”

Morse has been an associate curator in the photography department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since January 2013, prior to which she spent years moving up through the curatorial ranks to become an associate curator at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art.