Michelle Joan Wilkinson
Museum Curator, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Ph.D. is a curator at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Wilkinson co-curated two of the inaugural exhibitions for the new museum: A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond and A Century in the Making: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Wilkinson is also expanding the museum’s collections in architecture and design.
Wilkinson spent six years as Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. In that capacity, she curated over twenty exhibitions, including A People’s Geography: The Spaces of African American Life and two award-winning shows—Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists and For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People. Her interdisciplinary work spans art and history museums, and the terrains of American studies, African Diaspora studies, and cultural studies.
Wilkinson holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from Emory University. As a 2012 fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York City, she completed a short-term residency at the Design Museum in London. Wilkinson’s current research project, “V is for Veranda,” about architectural heritage in the Anglophone Caribbean, has been presented to international audiences in Suriname, England, India, and the United States.