A conversation with Tubman Museum curator Jeff Bruce

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Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jeff Bruce, I’ve been here since 2002 as curator or what we call Director of  Exhibitions. I came here from Hampton University Museum in Hampton, Virginia. I moved to Macon, GA to specifically take this job as curator here at the Tubman. I got my MA in Museum and Archival studies at Hampton. I’ve been at the  Tubman museum for 13 years and we are about to open.

What exhibit are we in currently?

The exhibit that we have up now is called “Black Artists of Georgia” and works from the collection of the Tubman Museum. We collect contemporary African-American studio art as well as Folk and Visionary art and so this exhibit displays works from those collections.

Is there any particular artifact that your most proud of here at the museum?

In my time here the work that has become the most meaningful would be the mural by Wilford Stroud. That work in my mind has come to be symbolize not only this institution but the mission of its mission. Which is to educate people about African-American Art history and culture but also to educate  in  a way that brings this community together as a whole.

Why is this so important in  Macon, Georgia and the Black community.

Macon has an interesting history when it comes to race and race relations, so it makes an institution like this one, which is about education, exploration and dialogue really important. Stroud’s work really sums up that mission for me very succinctly because it works as a teaching tool but it is not an indictment on any one person or one group. I think that’s the mission of the institution to teach but not indict any aspect or segment of our community while we are doing that teaching.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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