Curator of Religion and Community History
Experience: Chicago History Museum, Curator of Religion and Community History, 2022–present. Religion, Art, Technology Lab, Contributing Curator, 2021–22. Plymouth History Museum, Historical Society Manager Museum, 2020–22. Hamline University, Co-lecturer and Curator of Student Exhibitions (Islamic Art and Architecture, spring term 2020 & 2021). Saving Sacred Spaces, Heritage Consultant, 2019–22. Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums, Board Member, 2021–present. Save the Boards Minneapolis, Archive and Digital Exhibition Team, 2020–present.
Education: MA, Historical and Sustainable Architecture, New York University at NYU London. BA, Art History (Distinction in Religion and Minor in Spanish), Hamline University.
As Curator of Religion and Community History, Rebekah Coffman explores the central role of religion in shaping Chicago’s history and culture.
In her work, Rebekah explores connections between religious identity and our historic landscape. She has written and presented on how belief and spirituality remain a fundamental framework for understanding our world today. A recent example is her lecture “Manifesting the Sacred: Religious Identity in Material and Visual Culture,” delivered at the University of the Underground in 2021.
Rebekah has a wealth of knowledge in collections acquisition and research and has curated numerous exhibitions, including the Religion, Art and Technology Lab’s digital series Tangible/Intangible. She also worked on the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s 2014 groundbreaking exhibition Sacred. In her role at the Plymouth Museum, she developed museum administration and programming skills. She holds a BA in art history and religion and an MA in historical and sustainable architecture, with a concentration on adaptive reuse of sites of multicultural religious heritage.
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