(Toronto, Ontario – June 5, 2013) The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is proud to announce Dr. Rae Ostman as the inaugural Managing Director of ROM Ancient Cultures. Dr. Ostman has an extensive background in museology with a focus in education, national collaborations and exhibit management. Prior to joining the ROM, Dr. Ostman was Director of National Collaborations at the Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York. In this role, Dr. Ostman directed multi-organization projects, including the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net), a network of hundreds of participating museums and research institutions across the United States.
“I’m extremely pleased to have Dr. Ostman oversee our newest Centre of Discovery as Managing Director,” said Janet Carding, ROM Director and CEO. “We are confident that Dr. Ostman will illuminate the remarkable ancient artifacts in our collections as well as our global research, and help connect the public to this fascinating community of interest at the ROM.”
“To spearhead a new program at a world renowned museum, one that encompasses so many of my past experiences, is a great opportunity,” says Ostman. “I look forward to engaging both public and professional communities interested in ancient cultures and to furthering our knowledge of the past through research and education to better understand our future.”
Dr. Ostman’ leadership role in the NISE Network included responsibility for the development of all public engagement efforts, encompassing programs, exhibits, and media. Additional projects included 21 Tech: 21st Century Exhibit Facilitators and Personal Mobile Technologies, a collaboration developed to increase the use of mobile technologies by exhibit facilitators in an effort to further engage visitors in learning.
Dr. Ostman also served as Director of Education at the Sciencenter, where she was responsible for education and public programs and participated in exhibit projects. Prior to the Sciencenter, she held positions at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, first as Project Manager and then as Exhibits Manager. Before working for the Exploratorium, Ostman held the title of Project Director at Acoustiguide Worldwide in New York where she worked in coordination with museum partners to engage guests through educational audio tours while completing her PhD in Anthropological Archaeology from New York University.
As Managing Director of the second Centre of Discovery to be launched, Dr. Ostman is responsible for the long-term development and coordination of programs, communications, projects, exhibitions, and partnerships for ROM Ancient Cultures. Her goal is to advance the Centre’s vision to be an essential destination for understanding how past societies inform our lives and help us plan for the future.
About the Centres of Discovery
The ROM’s encyclopedic scope can be overwhelming. To increase access to its vast collections and curatorial expertise, it now has eight areas of focus. Three of these have now evolved into Centres of Discovery – Ancient Cultures, Biodiversity, and Contemporary Culture. The others - Canada, Earth & Space, Fossils & Evolution, Textiles & Fashions and World Art & Culture, will in time become centres and serve as entry points to the ROM's collections, expertise, programs and opportunities to get involved, helping people better navigate the Museum’s encyclopaedic scope, and to connect with the vibrant ROM communities most relevant to them.
Accordingly, June is Ancient Cultures month at the ROM, offering numerous ways for people of all ages and interest levels to become involved with this centre and be part of the conversation, from gallery visits to public programs to research conferences. Explore the artifacts in our galleries, talk to our curators, examine real artifacts, make crafts using traditional techniques, or join a debate on current topics in archaeology. The month is highlighted with the opening of the Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World exhibition on June 22.
For more information on ROM Ancient Cultures please visit www.rom.on.ca/ancientcultures