As a kid, he loved going to museums. Now, Mark Gleason manages exhibits at Seattle's MOHAI.
What do you do? My title [at Museum of History & Industry in Seattle] is exhibits manager, but I do a little of everything, from designing exhibits to changing light bulbs. I help select the exhibits we display, design and fabricate installations, coordinate with vendors and contractors … all the glamorous stuff.
How did you get started in that field? As a kid, I loved going to museums. I still remember being awed by the brontosaurus skeleton when you first walk into the Museum of Natural History in New York City. So when I needed a job, museums looked like a fun place to work, and I got lucky.
What’s a typical day like? No typical days! There is always something different. When an exhibit is opening, there is construction and installation. When we’re planning an exhibit there are meetings, then there are repairs to exhibits that need to be done before the museum opens.
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What’s the best part of the job? Well, it’s not boring! It’s challenging, and it’s demanding, but you get to work with people you admire, with a wide variety of skills, who take their jobs seriously, and who together have made a significant contribution to the cultural fabric of Seattle. It’s nice to be a part of that.
What surprises people about your work? That I get paid for it!
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