Tamara Johnston has worked in the museum field for over 20 years, specializing in collections care education and internships; permanent collection, exhibition, and project management (including all aspects of registration); policy development; cataloging and database development. She has a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a baccalaureate in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. Currently, Tamara is an adjunct Associate Professor in art history at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where she developed several courses for art students such as: Survey of Native American Art; Survey of African Art; Preservation and Intellectual Property for Artists and Designers. The preservation and intellectual property rights course is designed to encourage the next generation of artists to preserve and document and protect their own art. Tamara also teaches general art history (ARTH151), the History of Modernism-Design, the History of Modernism-Fine Art. Tamara also teaches art and design courses at the Peck School of the Arts at UW-Milwaukee. In 2011, Tamara became a founding board member of the Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists and served as Treasurer and volunteer business manager until 2018.
In the recent past, Tamara was the collection manager and project coordinator for the American Geographical Society Library and Archive at UW – Milwaukee where she consulted on preservation of the AGS’s object collections and managed two NEH grants to preserve and digitize their collection of film. She also helped start up the National Speedskating Museum and Hall of Fame at the Petit Olympic Ice Center. Tamara worked for 12 years at Bryn Mawr College’s Art and Archaeology Collection where she was the Collections Manager and Registrar of “a museum without walls” and the curator of the archaeology and anthropology collections. She managed the collection of 50,000 objects ranging from photography to ancient archaeology. Additionally, Tamara has also worked at the Kohler Foundation, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, and the Milwaukee Public Museum. She re-wrote the chapter on Marking for NMRM5 and has designed and conducted many workshops and panel sessions in collections care topics ranging from box making to copyright, at regional and national museum conferences.