Museum of Brisbane

Meet MoB: Madeleine Johns

In our new series, Meet MoB, we go behind the scenes to spotlight the passionate people who keep Museum of Brisbane ticking. Get to know the diverse team-members who help bring our city’s stories to life at the Museum⁠—from curators, arts marketers and educators to gallery hosts and installers. This week, we introduce Madeleine Johns, a Curator at the Museum.


What does a day in the life of a curator look like?

Every day is different. Depending on the project, I can be working on historical research, meeting with artists, or giving a curator tour to our visitors. It involves a lot of writing, storytelling with objects, and working with artists, designers, and members of the community.


How did you develop an interest in curating?

I’ve always enjoyed visiting museums and galleries. I began working in music, and moved into the museums sector through post-graduate study. Working in the arts can be challenging, but it is so rewarding.


What is a secret talent that we wouldn’t know about you?

I make the best chocolate chip cookies, and a pretty decent banana cake.


What is your favourite artwork currently on show at the Museum?

It’s a difficult decision at the moment, but Horizons growing beyond the visible by Lindy Lee is beautiful. The organic nature of the polished, flung bronze is meditative.


What are you most looking forward to at the Museum?

The exhibition High Rotation opens on the 30th of August. Looking at the last 30 years of Brisbane’s popular music industry, this exhibition brings together my two passions: music and history. We’ve worked closely with musicians, labels, managers, producers and venues to bring community voices into the Museum. It’s been a fun exhibition to work on, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing and talented people.


– Madeleine Johns, Curator