You could say Diana Zlatanovski has a bit of a thing for objects-all aspects of her work revolve around collections. When she isn’t researching artifacts at MFA, Boston, she is photographing objects at Typology or blogging about them as The Typologist.
I am a curatorial research associate at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I work in the Textile and Fashion Arts department, primarily with our non-Western textiles. I’m part of a small department in a big and busy museum, so my job really varies day to day. One of my favorite tasks is researching Pre-Columbian and Native American textiles for display in our permanent galleries.
What’s your educational background?
I began college studying studio art but took an Egyptology class and got hooked on material culture. I graduated with BA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois and went on to an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas a few years later.
What was your ‘sticky’ moment?
I hold the Field Museum fully responsible for my love of museums! As a kid, it was our go-to field trip spot and I was completely enthralled by the Pawnee earth lodge exhibit. After college, I went back and volunteered in the Anthropology department–that experience really helped solidify my interest in pursuing my MA in Museum Studies. As soon as I took a tour of their storage rooms: frescoes from Pompeii, sarcophagi, Pre-Columbian ceramics…there was no turning back. After grad school I was lucky enough to return again to work on the Ancient Americas exhibition hall with the Anthropology department. See? It’s totally the Field Museum’s fault.
I publish the Typologist. My first post was November 11th 2011. Which, if you can believe it, I didn’t realize until I just typed that right now was 11-11-11! How neat is that?
What do you blog about? Why?
The Typologist is a curation of object and photo typologies. It began around the time that I was starting my own photo series of object collections–I wanted to bring attention to collections and the idea of a typology as a way to look carefully and consider objects. Only by observing collections of similar things do similarities and variations become evident. The blog engages people through mainly visual content and because of that I’ve found the Tumblr platform to be greatly successful for sharing the material with a broad audience. Each post provides a link to further information about the works, so viewers can learn more about what they’re looking at.
What’s the last exhibit you saw?
The very last exhibit I saw was Quilts and Color at the MFA, Boston and it is gorgeous. Though that seems like a freebie since it is in my museum. So I will tell you about the last TWO exhibits I saw. I also recently saw From Ear to Ear at the Peabody Essex Museum…birds “playing” music. I loved it.
What’s the last thing you bought at a museum gift shop?
Do you tweet? Why or why not?
I do tweet quite often. I’m a fan of using Twitter (and other social media) as another way to interact with people. You can pop in whenever you have a few minutes and have conversations with folks, learn what they’re up to, catch up on coming events, etc. It’s a great way to socialize and share what’s interesting in your world at the moment. The key is listening, not just talking.
Thanks for participating in Meet a Museum Blogger, Diana!
In case you missed it, Diana blogs at The Typologist.
Do you have additional questions for Diana regarding her profile above? Feel free to start a conversation in the comments below or reach out to her directly on Twitter at @TheTypology. Please use the #MuseumBlogger hashtag. TY! You can follow The Typologist on Facebook and Instagram, too!
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