I'm A Museum Person

I’m A Museum Person: Marcus A. Harshaw Jr.

Cincinnati Museum Center. Photo by mandiraj via Flickr.

My name is Marcus Harshaw Jr., and I’m A Museum Person

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the current Manager of Special Exhibits at Cincinnati Museum Center. Prior I worked for the Indiana State Museum in Program Facilitation. I’ve managed staffing and/or programming for great exhibit projects like Speed, Dinosaurs Unearthed, America I AM, The Art of Caring, and Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt. I’ve been involved with museums since 2005.

Why do museums matter to you?

Museums matter to me because they provide the communities they serve so much more than a building full of old stuff. They provide stories, interaction, a place to be inquisitive, a place to learn, a place to enjoy with family and friends, and a place to have fun!

What is your favorite museum memory?

My favorite museum memory is seeing Pompeii: Stories from an Eruption. It is the exhibit that inspired me to get into museum work.

Scenes from Pompeii. Photo by archer10 via Flickr.

What museum would you love to visit?

The Brooklyn Museum and the British Museum.

What is your dream museum job?

Vice President of Exhibits.

When you think of the perfect exhibit, what is in it?

The right amount of artifacts, great stories, fun interactives, and engaging staff and volunteers.

Who is the funnier museum twitterer…@SUEtheTrex or @NatHistoryWhale?

Out of those two, definitely @SUEtheTrex, but the @ChicagoLions from the Art Institute of Chicago are hilarious too.

What is the most random item you have bought from a museum gift shop?

The toothpaste jar replica from the Titanic: The Exhibition when it was at COSI Columbus. I usually stick to magnets.

Toothpaste container from the Titanic.

To test your museum knowledge, what cities are the following museums in?

  • The High Museum of Art – Denver, Colorado. Get it? Mile High, right?
  • The Experience Music Project – Nashville, Tennessee. My first guess was Cleveland, but that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll.
  • Musee de la Civilasation – Quebec City, Quebec. For some reason this doesn’t sound France-French to me.
  • Courtauld Gallery – London, England. I’m just guessing, it’s spelled British-y.
  • Kuntskammer – St. Petersburg, Russia. My nickname isn’t Czarshaw for nothing!

You may have heard of the Month at the Museum contest recently held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. What museum would you move into for a month if you could?

I would totally live at the Smithsonian or the Louvre for a month.

Out of all the museums you have visited so far, which one is your favorite?

My favorite! Just one? I love the Field Museum, the Museum of Art in Boston, and the National Constitution Center.

What is the most bizarre museum you have ever visited?

I visited a shoe museum in Southern France. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh can be bizarre in a good way though.

Shoe sculpture in Romans-sur-Isere, home of the International Shoe Museum. Photo by jean-louis zimmerman via Flickr.


Thanks to Marcus for sharing his experiences. If you’re interested in participating in the “I’m A Museum Person” series, send us an email at editor@museumist.com, and we’ll get your story up on the site.

Leave a Reply