Laura J. Allen
Curator | Scholar | Exhibit Specialist
Based in New York City, I help cultural institutions create exhibits and digital media that reach people. In March 2021 I became the Curator of Native American Art at Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey.
My academic and professional experience is in the material and natural worlds of the Americas, particularly dress and textiles, with a focus on Indigenous arts and cultures. I'm a scholar of the Native Northwest Coast and Alaska, where I've connected Indigenous partners with a renowned museum hall, identified Alaskan stories, and researched remarkable weavings.
My curatorial approach is collaborative. I strive to activate museum collections through (re)connection with communities of origin and inspire critically engaged museum audiences.
Recent Exhibit Projects
New Perspectives in Native American Art History; Univ. of Oklahoma | Nov 7, 2020:
"Northwest Coast Native Idioms in Midcentury Modernisms: Tracking the Sea-Bear"
Textile Society of America Symposium | Oct 17, 2020:
"An Uncommon Ammunition Case: Interpreting 'Transitional' Textiles
and Social Worlds in Nineteenth-Century Tlingit Alaska."
» Winner, Founding Presidents Award
Bard Graduate Center M.A. Symposium | Jun 12, 2020:
"Fashioning the Northwest Coast: 200 Years of Indigenous Dress"
» Winner of the Horowitz Foundation for the Arts Award
Native American Art Studies Association Meeting | Oct 3, 2019
(with Meghann O'Brien):
"'Ancient Couture' and the Northwest Coast"
Conference of the Council for Museum Anthropology | Sep 20, 2019
(with Aaron Glass):
"Reflections on The Story Box:
Remediating Franz Boas in a (Meta)Collaborative Exhibition"
- Morbid Anatomy Museum | Nov 6, 2014:
"When Women Wore Birds: Avian Finery of the Gilded Age"
With accompanying avian accessory taxidermy class by Divya Anantharaman
Selected Research & Writing
Site ©2021 Laura Allen. Photo: T. Scales.