Cultivating Kitsch Collections

  • Monday, October 6th
  • 3:30-4:45pm, Concurrent Sessions


Cynthia Behr Warso, Education & Engagement Manager, Neon Museum
Dustin Wax, Executive Director, Burlesque Hall of Fame
Tim Arnold, Director of Stuff and Things, Pinball Hall of Fame Museum
Tim McGrane, Director, Blackhawk Automotive Museum


Clare Haggarty, Civic Art Collections Manager, Los Angeles County Arts Commission


  • Visitor Experience, Collections

This session looks at how museums care for, interpret, and elevate pop-focused collections as subjects worthy of sustained community engagement and support. Four collections are represented: the Neon Museum, Pinball Hall of Fame, Blackhawk Automotive Museum, and Burlesque Hall of Fame. Discussion includes how to foster the perceptual shift necessary to make “kitsch” collections relevant to audiences and funders, strategies for interpreting pop-cultural artifacts, and collection management practices for unconventional objects.