A portrait of success

A portrait of success

PhD student Linda Grussani named curator of Aboriginal art at the Canadian Museum of History

By Anne Craig

July 19, 2016


[Linda Grussani]A creative upbringing and a passion for art have helped Linda Grussani land the job of a lifetime.

The PhD candidate (Cultural Studies) was recently named the Aboriginal art curator at the Canadian Museum of History.

“I’ve really come full circle,” says Ms. Grussani. “I started there as an intern 16 years ago and have always been interested in this position. It’s an area of great personal interest and the museum contributes to a deeper understanding of the cultural history of Canada.”

Ms. Grussani, who is a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg – a First Nation community located 130 km north of Gatineau, Quebec – earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in art history from Carleton University. Her mother was also a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and her father was an Italian immigrant.

“I am incredibly proud of my heritage and have been fortunate to bring both sides into my studies.”

In 2000, she accepted an eight-month internship at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) as a master’s student. The internship was part of the RBC Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices. Now, she returns to where she got her start after 12 years at the National Gallery of Canada and serving as director of Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ Aboriginal Art Centre for three and a half years.

“I’m now determining what exhibitions I’d like to plan and the best way to highlight our important collections ,” says Ms. Grussani. “I also want to plan and conduct further research into the area of Indigenous art and communicate those results to a wider audience. Art can really demonstrate how Indigenous people have been here, are here, and will continue to be here.”

While she has achieved her dream job, Ms. Grussani continues to pursue her educational dream. She is completing her PhD degree part-time while working full-time at the museum. She says support from the university has been invaluable as she was able to customize her Queen’s experience to best support her busy life.

“I don’t feel like I have had to put one part of my life on hold,” she says. “My PhD work is feeding into my museum work and vice versa. I’m thankful for the people who are helping make this happen.”

Arts and Science