Expert Profile

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Devon Pyle-Vowles

Pronouns:

she/her/their/theirs

Availability:

Available

Full or Part-time

Position Type:

Glencoe

Illinois

United States of America

Years in the field:

26+ Years

Areas of Expertise

Administrative Support, Curatorial/Collections, Events, Exhibits development, Explainer/guide, Grants/Foundational Giving, Intern Programs, Operations, Project Management, Research & Evaluation, Security/Safety, Strategic Planning, Volunteer Programs, Other

Ms. DEVON L. PYLE-VOWLES

314 Hawthorne, Unit B, Glencoe, IL 60022

847-903-7940

email: dpvowles@comcast.net

WORK EXPERIENCE

ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

Collection Manager for the Department of European Painting & Sculpture (EPS) which is one of the most visible and active in the museum. Responsible for the department’s permanent collection, including acquisitions, outgoing loans, incoming loans, deaccessions, object files, database records, metadata, and research materials. Coordinated and managed activities pertaining to the collection, including the administration of new acquisitions, conservation treatment requests, gallery rotations and installations, loans, valuation estimates for loans, storage, documentation of permanent collection objects and promised gifts, and external research inquiries. When necessary, couriered the EPS collection for outgoing loan program of the AIC internationally and domestically (about 8 times a year). Under advisement of curators, published accurate object information online through the museum’s databases, ensuring data fidelity and actively managed the tagging of the EPS collection. Served as liaison between department chair and curators, technicians, specialists, and support staff. As the main point of contact, collaborated with the departments of Collections and Loans, Experience Design on developing and maintaining accurate collection data on the website and in the Digital Asset Management system; Conservation and Science, Facilities, Imaging, the Office of the Secretary to the Board of Trustees along with Legal, and Archives. Also, coordinated communications when necessary with lenders, donors, estates, appraisers, EPS committee members, galleries, and collectors.(June 2014-July 2020)

Collections Inventory Manager for the Department of European Decorative Arts. Responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing the protocol for the inventory project which included the collection being photographed for the database and the website. Maintained and updated the departmental accession files, location lists and corresponding Art Institute (AIC) database records for the European Decorative Arts collection. Worked closely with the Curator and Preparatory specialist on the collection assessment and photography process. Acted as the liaison between the department and the AIC departments of Conservation, Registration, Imaging, AIC database projects, and other departments for collection inventory-related issues. Performed donor research for the deaccession program and prepared documentation that was presented to the AIC Board of Directors. Provided research support to the EDA Curators and other scholars in regard to the permanent collection. (April 2013-June 2014)

BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY

Art and Artifact Management (personal contractor business) for the College of Business, Technology and Communication to review the BSU Art and teaching collections. Responsible for compiling a report recommending inventory procedures, display and storage needs, documentation standards, maintenance requirements, and loan policies that are compliant with best practices for University Art collections. (February 2013-April 2013)

ILLINOIS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM & EDUCATION CENTER

Registrar for a collection of over 18,000 artifacts. Responsible for the documentation, safety and security of objects in the Museum's care, including the permanent collection, loaned objects, temporary exhibitions and the institutional archives. Updated and implemented collections policies and procedures, including disaster emergency plans. Created and maintained KE Emu collections database of all collections documentation and files, including acquisitions, incoming and outgoing loans, deaccessioning, inventory, storage, digitization, archives, library materials, etc. Coordinated on-going conservation activities. Handled requests for photographic materials relating to the collections. Oversaw the insurance for the collection and the Standard Facility Report for the Museum. Supervised Collections interns and trained them in collections management and registration. (July 2011-November 2012)

ADLER PLANETARIUM AND ASTRONOMY MUSEUM

Collections Manager for the Webster Institute for the History of Astronomy. Responsible for the documentation, care and preservation of the Adler’s extensive (5000+) antique scientific instrument and rare book collection. Developed and implemented policies and procedures for accessioning and deaccessioning; documentation; loans; inventories; condition reporting; security, rights and reproduction, digitization, security and disaster preparedness; storage and care of collections. Served on or led Adler project teams for exhibits or exhibit galleries that are artifact-based. Coordinated activities involving display of items from the collections, including exhibit preparations and installations. Trained and supervised the collections management staff/volunteers/interns. Maintained legal records related to the collections such as acquisitions, loans, deaccessioning, inventory, storage, archives, and library materials. Coordinated on-going conservation activities. Handled requests for research visits and photographic materials relating to t he collections under the rights and reproduction program. Couriered all out-going loans. Oversaw the insurance for the collection, the Adler Facility report and the budgets for collections management activities. (October 1996–June 2011)

TERRA FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

Registrar; Acting Head of the Curatorial Department for two art institutions: Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago and Musée d’Art Américain, Giverny, France. Primarily responsible for professional records management (manual/automated) and the safe handling and movement of art, for the museums’ collections and for art entrusted to their care. Responsible for implementation of all registrarial aspects of incoming and outgoing temporary exhibitions, budget planning, staff supervision, and curatorial management. (October 1995-October 1996)

MITCHELL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

Assistant Curator exhibiting a collection representing native peoples of the United States and Canada. Responsible for collections care and management, NAGPRA repatriation program, educational program development, and curatorial procedures. Supervised volunteer staff, and assisted Director/Curator with exhibition development and installation, office administration, public relations and community outreach. (October 1994-June 1995, on and off collection inventory volunteer, Board member and Collections Committee chair from 2011-2014)

ELMHURST HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Collections Records Assistant for the history museum of the City of Elmhurst Illinois. Responsible for the management of collections catalogue data entry. Input catalogue data from original, hand-written, collections records onto database. Evaluated existing records for consistency and organized object information into standardized data fields (June 1995-October 1995).

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY

Manager for the traveling exhibition “The Smithsonian’s America: An Exhibition on American History and Culture” that went to the American Festival Japan ‘94 near Tokyo. Involved in a variety of museum tasks as a vital member of the project management team. Edited the script and the design package for the exhibition. Maintained, updated, and revised the Project’s registrarial records including condition reports on 350 objects going to and from Japan. Coordinated all international and national travel for 143 trips. Provided registrarial and conservation assistance as needed. (September 1993-September 1994)

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Internship in the Anthropology Conservation Laboratory. Involved in the complete dismantling of the 20-year-old African collection exhibition hall, adding to my knowledge of object handling, object cleaning, photo documentation, inventory procedures, pest management, minor conservation treatments, and the movement of objects through the museum into storage facilities. Practical experience in extricating objects from permanently placed brackets and in creating mounts for individual pieces. (Summer 1993)

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, Department of Museum Studies

Internship in the Collections Care Administrator Training Program. Served on a six-person team that undertook the planning of a new storage facility for the Office of Historic Alexandria Virginia, a group of five museums administered by the City of Alexandria. Worked directly with each museum director. Personally, reviewed the Friendship Firehouse Museum's present storage conditions and provided a written site assessment summarizing those conditions. Recommended policies, procedures, renovations and storage designs for the Historic Alexandria off-site facility. Identified specific grants to fund the work to implement these collections storage projects. (January 1993-April 1993)

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, Gelman Library

Registration Desk Attendant, Administrative Assistant for the Department of Special Collections. Assisted patrons and librarians with the use of departmental resources. Processed manuscript collections, designed exhibitions for the Reading Room and compiled monthly public service statistics. Supervised students in the processing of manuscript collections. (March 1991-September 1992)

DECATUR HOUSE, property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Museum Interpreter. Acted as a representative of the National Trust and Decatur House to the visiting public. Furnished the public on tours with accurate information on the history of the Decatur House (1819 to the present) and the purpose of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Provided security and insured the safety of the museum collection and its visitors. (October 1992-June 1994).

HARPERS FERRY NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK

Archaeological Laboratory Technician for the National Park Service. Performed the duties involved in the collection management of late 18th to 20thcentury artifacts excavated at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, including cataloging the artifacts. Assigned specific excavation sites to process. Organized and maintained the field photographs, and conducted independent research on Ceramics and Utilitarian Wares for a future report. Supervised and trained 6 volunteers in collection management procedures. Entered collection data into the NPS collections database. (October 1989-November 1990)

FREDERICK DOUGLASS HISTORICAL HOME (CEDAR HILL), ANACOSTIA

Museum Technician for the National Capital Region. Carried out operating procedures for the home and curatorial procedures for the collection, especially registration, cataloging, and conserving of manuscripts, letters, envelopes and books. Planned and utilized packing procedures for the collection of domestic objects, decorative arts, furniture, clothing, manuscripts, and photographs in the home. (August‑October 1989)

CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Internship/Researcher in the Archaeology department. Gained experience in Archaeological laboratory operations. Researched a Prehistoric Collection (circa 1400) from Alabama. Classified ceramics according to specific types and varieties. Analyzed the data for development of my Oberlin College senior thesis resulting in a conclusion about the related culture. (January 1989‑May 1989)

EDUCATION

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, M.A. in Museum Studies, 1994.Stipend award in collections care through a grant from the Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities. University Fellow in the Museum Studies Program. Emphasis in Collections Management and Care. Academic Core: Anthropology, Historical Archaeology.

OBERLIN COLLEGE, B.A. in Archaeological Studies, 1989. Emphasis in Classical and North American Archaeology with a background in Museum Studies.