Story posted November 15, 1998
Nov. 10, 1998, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Katy Kline is happy with what she's found in the back rooms of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art since starting as the director the last month.
"I had been to the museum a couple of times, and was more aware of the pristine elegance of the building than the specific objects stored here," she said. "I am increasingly pleasantly surprised with the quality of the work here in the storeroom."
Kline comes to Bowdoin after 20 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, serving the past 12 years as the director of the List Visual Arts Center. MIT is a decidedly technical school with a decidedly contemporary art collection. Kline hopes to bring more contemporary art to the Bowdoin campus, as well as take advantage of the historical treasures Maine and the College offer.
"My assignment here, as I see it, is to build on the wonderful existing collection and engage people with a series of changing exhibits," she said. "I want no visit here to be the same twice."
Kline believes museums have an ever-increasing importance in a world where students grow up looking at soulless images on a computer screen. Seeing a work of art in person is the only way to connect with the human being who created it, she says.
"I want every student here to have a profoundly personal experience with a work of art, and to take that experience with them when they leave," she said. "They'll have that forever."
Achieving that goal starts with making sure that all students at least go to the museum. Kline said she plans to spend her first year here meeting people from every department on campus, and working with them to find ways to integrate art into their program, using the museum as their classroom.