I’m Cynthia Robinson, Director of the Tufts Museum Studies Program, a position I’ve held since 2007. I am a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and hold secondary appointments in the Education and the History departments. I oversee the museum studies components in the Education, History and Art History departments and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts graduate program. Before coming to Tufts I worked in and with museums. I started my museum career at Old Sturbridge Village as an interpreter and museum teacher. I ran the education departments at the Worcester Historical Museum and the National Heritage Museum, and managed programs and collections at the Bostonian Society. I was the executive director of a state-wide museum association for about 10 years, and I did freelance work for numerous museums and other non-profits.
My specialty is museum education but I infuse teaching with my experience in many other aspects of museum work. I was lucky in my museum career to be able to curate exhibitions, manage collections, write grants (and review grants for state and federal agencies too), supervise employees, conduct research, and participate in strategic planning, fundraising, evaluation, and marketing.
I spend more time on campus than in museums these days, but I stay closely involved with the museum world in various ways. I was the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Museum Education between 2010 and 2021 and worked with the journal’s governing organization, the Museum Education Roundtable to produce first three and then four issues of this peer-reviewed journal each year. I was privileged to get to know museum educators, scholars and allies from around the world who served as guest-editors, authors, and reviewers. Together we generated a platform for research and discourse about the future of museum education and strategies for increasing visitors’ understanding of themselves and the world.
I currently serve as a board member of the New England Museum Association.