This is the first installment of a new weekly interview series, on the Culture Comment blog. It’s called “Behind-the-Scenes.” Each week, we’ll discuss new facts and information about the people that make the Walters Art Museum tick. First, let’s meet Regine Schulz, Curator of Ancient Art.
Gary Vikan: What is your position at the Walters?
Regine Schulz: I am the Curator of Ancient Art.
GV: What does a curator do?
RS: A curator is responsible for researching, choosing, acquiring and borrowing pieces of art to be shown in the museum. Together with other museum staff members, a curator develops exhibitions. Other responsibilities include publishing information about the collection in print and online, giving lectures and tours, organizing scholarly workshops, co-operating with scholars and scientists in research projects, consulting the audience on questions related to the curatorial specialty and organizing events for special interest groups. A curator also works with other museum groups as a content provider on the collection and the cultures of the collections.
GV: How did you get involved in the curatorial field?
RS: I received a PhD in Egyptology and art history. At first, I learned Latin and ancient Greek, and later ancient Egyptian. I also familiarized myself with some other ancient and early Christian languages of the Orient. I first worked as an intern, then later as a fellow and an assistant in different museums. I was also an assistant professor for Egyptology at Munich University, and I am still teaching Egyptology at John Hopkins University.
GV: What projects are you currently working on?
RS: I’m working on adjustments to the exhibition Heroes: Mortals & Myths in Ancient Greece opening at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York City Oct. 5.;
a research project on ancient Egyptian amulets; research on a unique Egyptian papyrus called the Book of the Fajium; an Egyptian cosmology exhibition; a Yemenite silverwork exhibition; and websites on Near Eastern cylinder seals and on Egyptian scarabs.
GV: What is the biggest challenge in your job?
RS: To get all the work done! Every project we are doing is exciting, and sometimes we are working on too many things in the same time.
GV: What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on in your career?
RS: Always, the project I am working on at the moment is the most interesting project so that would be the Egyptian cosmology exhibition. Besides working on exhibitions, I want to name some very different projects. These include excavating in the necropolis of Thebes in Egypt and chairing the Resolutions Committee of the International Council of Museums.
GV: What is your favorite piece in the Walters’ collection and why?
RS: The head of a statue of the Egyptian king Amasis. It is one of the most unusual royal portraits we know about from ancient Egypt.
GV: What other education or careers have you had?
RS: I have a master degree in Journalism and was an assistant journalist for the Second German TV reporting on foreign countries.
Learn more about the other curators at the Walters, on our meet the curators web page. Do you have a question you would like to ask Regine? If so, let’s hear about it in the comments!