The Backbone of the Museum is its dogged and fanatical staff, working tirelessly to keep alive the spirit of curiosity, inquiry and playfullness that fuels every great encyclopedic effort. The philosophers are each dedicated to distinct and diverse areas of inquiry, bringing expertise in their field to bear on the evolution of Museum. And each remains remarkably dedicated to the concept, experience, expression, and cataloging of Everyday Life.
Philosopher At Large: John Bell, Ph.D.
John Bell is a professor of theater history, performance studies, and puppetology, which he pursues as director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, as a lecturer in drama at Harvard University, and as a member of the Great Small Works theater collective of Brooklyn. He first pursued puppetry as a member of the Bread and Puppet Theater from 1976 to 1986. He has pursued the analysis of puppets, objects, and other forms of everyday life phenomena in publications including his book American Puppet Modernism. He explores the metaphysics of the trombone with the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society of Somerville, Massachusetts.
Chief Operating Philosopher: Clare Dolan, RN.
Clare Dolan is a Nurse/Puppeteer whose enthusiasm for everyday life led to the creation of the Museum and the great period of growth it has enjoyed in the early part of this Century. Her early interest in object collection and her experiences as a touring puppeteer with the Bread and Puppet Theater during her formative years informs the ever-expanding activity of the Museum as it pursues its mission of glorious obscurity.
Philosopher At Large: Thomas Dolan, M.A.
Thomas Dolan was born in Milwaukee in 1932. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Philosophy from Marquette University. Forty years of teaching Philosophy, Logic, and Ethics at various institutions in the Midwest has informed his ongoing intense speculative inquiries concerning utopian antarctic communities and everyday life inventions. A private and somewhat inward-looking theoretician, family and home life are central concerns for Tom, sharpening his keen sense of the everyday and the profound effects simple and ordinary objects can have on the ethics and morality of humanity.
Philosopher At Large: Gabriel Levine, Ph.D.
Gabriel Levine is a thinker, writer, musician, performance-maker, and participant in multiple banal and extraordinary everyday experiences. His work explores “experiments with tradition” in the performing arts. He is currently a Postodoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, and at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto. More about his projects www.gabriellevine.net.
Philosopher At Large: Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller Miller is a playwright, performer and the director and founder of Circus Amok, New York’s only one ring, no-animal queerly situated political circus spectacular. She had a seven year stint at Coney Island Sideshow by the Seashore, and is now an associate professor of performance at Pratt Institute. Ms. Miller’s particular attention everyday life objects surfaces frequently in her performance work, from the giant dancing pencils in Circus Amok to the titular toasters in Free Toasters Everyday. She explores her affinity for the mundane every day with ritual practices she has been cultivating for close to 30 years…
Materials & Motions Expert: Cate Peck
Cate Peck lives in Southern Vermont, and is a longtime perpetuator of slow motion practices, fanciful cogitation, and materials repurposing. Widely regarded as one of this country’s eminent specialists in the field of Object Evaluation/Transformation, Cate’s deep engagement with the material world feeds the museum’s mission and facilitates the spotless efficiency of our vast storerooms.