About the speaker
Kathy and Dennis started their careers in the art world and art museums – and took those experiences to develop new museums on, perhaps, unexpected topics—rock and roll, spying, and the Mob. The 25th anniversary of Robert Mapplethorpe’s controversial exhibit, The Perfect Moment, which led to indictments for Dennis and Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center on obscenity charges, provides a perfect moment for talking about the shock of new ideas and presenting controversial material.
Dennis is an internationally recognized museum director, cultural historian and an expert in popular culture. His career includes positions as the Midwest Director of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; as the Director of Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center; and the founding Executive Director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Dennis led the development of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC; The Mob Museum: National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in Las Vegas and numerous new exhibits and museums in the US. Barrie Projects is now developing the first comprehensive Olympic and Paralympic museum for the US in Colorado Springs.
Kathy has a long history of museum, civic, arts and cultural experience beginning at the Cleveland Museum of Art in education and exhibits, as founding executive director of Cleveland’s public art and civic discourse organization (Cleveland Public Art, now LAND Studio) and returning to the museum world to develop the International Spy Museum. She led the content development, curatorial direction and design for Spy, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and The Mob Museum. Barrie Projects developed the Catalog of Ideas: A Vision for Uptown; Kathy is the Director of CWRU’s Putnam Collection.
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