Museum of Brisbane

Meet MoB: Kathryn King


Our Meet MoB series introduces you to the passionate people who keep Museum of Brisbane ticking. From curators, educators and arts marketers, to retail coordinators, installers and gallery hosts, meet the diverse team-members who help bring our city’s stories to life at the Museum. This week, we’re featuring Kathryn King.


What does a day in the life of a Head of Collections and Exhibitions look like?

Anything from negotiating up-and-coming exhibitions, overseeing the conservation of an object, to providing tours of the Easton Pearson Archive and Collection store to our Museum donors and partners. I have a supportive team and we work closely together to achieve a diverse and evolving program and manage our growing collection.


Can you tell us a bit about your personal background? What led you to your current role at MoB?

I studied Archaeology at the University of Sydney, and my first working years were spent in the UK and Jordan. I loved field archaeology and traveling in Jordan and Syria. However, after a couple of years I needed to make a decision to pursue a career in the UK, or return to Australia. I chose to return to Australia. I have worked in the museums and galleries sector for the last 22 years, in various roles from engagement, policy, collections and exhibitions. My passion is caring for collections. Four years ago I started with MoB as Collections Manager and that journey has brought me to my current role.


You recently gave a talk at the ICOM Kyoto 2019 conference about the Museum’s standout 2018-2019 exhibition ‘The Designers’ Guide: Easton Pearson Archive’. What was it like to work on this project?

This was a very gratifying project, as it involved working on what was only a very new acquisition to the Museum. The Easton Pearson Archive was a gift of more than 3,300 garments and 5,000 items of support material. To be able to dive into this remarkable fashion archive and share at least a part of it with Brisbane and our visitors was deeply satisfying.


The  conference theme at ICOM was ‘Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition’. What were your takeaways from this experience?

How museums and galleries have the capacity to inspire, delight and inform humanity, and the interconnectedness of people on a global scale.


Everyone has a secret talent! What is a fun fact or talent we wouldn’t necessarily know about you?

It’s not a talent yet…but a talent I would love to pursue. I learnt piano and guitar as a kid, and I took up Spanish guitar a few years back. Unfortunately, it was hard to find time to practice, so my efforts have stalled. However, I hope to take it up again in a few years – it was a lot of fun.


What is your favourite artwork or item currently on display at MoB? And why?

Well, it’s always hard to choose, but I just adore the exhibition New Woman currently on display at the Museum. [This is lots of artwork!!] The salon hang and range of works is inspiring and beautiful; it is a pleasure to experience.


– Kathryn King, Head of Collections and Exhibitions