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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Ardmore serves as a launching point for museum career

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  • Where Bonne Brown's career leads her remains an unanswered question. But in whatever part of the museum world she takes up residence, its roots will be drawn back to Ardmore. More specifically, the Greater Southwest Historical Museum.
    Brown, a native of Tulsa, is spending the summer as an intern at the museum. It is a welcome opportunity for Brown, who was influenced by museums growing up.
    "I've been raised in museums, all of my life was spent in museums," Brown says. "Nearly every summer, we would go to Colonial Williamsburg or Branson."
    Brown followed up on that love by obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in history at Oklahoma State University. She considered studying accounting or education, but settled on the history degree her sophomore year.
    Brown did not put her degree to work immediately, instead taking a job in retail, working as a store manager. But the desire to follow her heart remained strong, and a search on the Internet led to a new and exciting chapter in her life attending Sotheby's Institute of Art in London.
    "I wanted to supplement my art background and get into museums," Brown says. "I had planned on attending graduate school, and found it on the Internet and thought it was a good idea."
    The experience of studying in London afforded Brown the opportunity of enjoying a different culture. And, of course, visiting local museums.
    "My favorite museum is the British Museum," Brown says. "I used to live down the street from it, and enjoyed looking at all the artifacts from all over the world."
    Brown graduated from Sothebys in 2008, and, after arriving back in the states, found herself once again in retail, putting a life in museums on hold.
    "My old job called me and needed help during Christmas time, and I was promoted to store manager," Brown says.
    She also worked as a product manager for Victoria's Secret. But, once again, the desire to move forward was too strong to ignore.
    "I go 100 percent in whatever field I am in, but it was kind of now or never," Brown says. "I began to go to workshops and conferences. And that is where I met Nicki (Wood)."
    Wood, who serves as museum curator, helped facilitate Brown's move to Ardmore as an intern, a position she took in June.
    "She is like a human encyclopedia," Wood says. "You can ask her the date of anything and she knows."
    Wood credits Brown with a number of ideas that have proven beneficial to not only operations, but educational programs as well.
    "We seem to work as a team," Wood says. "We get a lot of work done, but we have a lot of fun."
    Page 2 of 2 - For her part, Brown credits the museum for furthering her education in museums and helping lay another foundation for her career.
    "I had been interning in Stillwater as a register cataloguing," Brown said. "Nicki adds more to my education, more in outreach and education. This has been extremely beneficial. It has been part of my education that I didn't have before."
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