Ben Gessner



Ben Gessner

Title or Role

Collections Associate, American Indian and Fine Art Collections


Minnesota Historical Society


Saint Paul



About you For the better part of a decade I have worked professionally with museum collections. My current areas of interest and passion are repatriation, collections digitization of American Indian material culture (to achieve better transparency with communities), and the development of culturally-specific care plans for these materials. Over the course of the last two years, I have initiated numerous collections-based outreach projects in Dakota communities in Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska, an initiative that has formed the basis of the ongoing partnership with the Dakota NAGPRA Coalition. This has included bringing historical material culture to communities, as well as hosting workshops for community members to digitize family photographs and documents and conduct genealogical research. My academic background is in art history, nonprofit management, and cultural resource management, and I am currently employed in a Collections outreach role as the Collections Associate, American Indian and Fine Art Collections at the Minnesota Historical Society.

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