Victoria is responsible for all aspects of the museum’s staffing and development and for the artistic direction of the AAH. As a working artist, Victoria works closely with the museum’s live-in curator and caretaker to conceive and promote the work in our contemporary galleries.
Victoria is an Art and Art History Educator, Maker and Curator. Victoria consults and speaks on LGBTQ curriculum development, historical and current LGBTQ interpretations in public and private institutions.
Her favorite piece in the collection is always changing as she continues to study Austen’s life and work. Right now she would love to share the most recent publication of the 1896 book illustrated by Austen that embodies so much of her work to lift up women’s liberation narratives, Bicycling For Ladies. Victoria wrote the forward in this publication, and it’s available for sale at the museum.
Collections & Development Specialist
Margaret leverages her enthusiasm for researching and writing to uphold Austen’s place in the American photographic canon and inspire financial support for AAH.
Using the information uncovered by the examination of Alice’s photographs, home and belongings, Margaret advocates for AAH exhibitions and programming with the donor community by leveraging the skills she honed through art history scholarship and a previous career in finance.
“Currently, my favorite photograph is a portrait of Alice’s grandfather, John, framed by the ivy-covered timber supports on the Clear Comfort porch. Through his intentional positioning, I can feel Alice’s intertwined affection for her grandfather and the house they shared. As he gazes off camera, I suspect he admires his front-yard view of the Narrows – a view I share working in an office that was his bedroom.”
Kristine is passionate about the history of photography and assists in implementing museum and special event operations, social media, donor and member relations, and maintaining collections policy.
Allegretti is a key member of the collections staff with the most extensive knowledge of the museum’s holdings and their significance to the field of photography.
“Being in constant contact with the objects in the collection I always have a new favorite. Currently I would say it is this hand carved wooden rosary that Alice picked up during a trip to Rome in the 1920’s. The rosary is 4 feet long and unlike anything else of Alice’s in our collection. Alice gave it to a neighbor in 1943 who helped her and Gertrude out a little during that hard time. “
Zoë is a painter and installation artist who has worked in museums for the past decade. Zoë’s passion is to develop and present LGBTQ+ programs for children, families, and adults. Zoë has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and a MA in Museum Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies.
Zoë was awarded NYFA’s City Artist Corps grant in 2021. Zoë is a founder of the experimental collective, Queer Van Kult, which was awarded a DCA Premier Grant in 2020, DCA Grant 2022 and a residency at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in 2022.
“It’s hard to choose a singular favorite object or piece in the collection. Alice’s sense of humor comes through in so many photos as well as her love of her home and surroundings. The high contrast of “Deaf Albino Kitten going up elm tree” is really beautiful. I also love how Alice and her family cared for the cats that lived along side them for generations.”
Kristen is a photographer, writer, curator and recent graduate of a one year certificate program at the International Center of Photography. She is also an avid collector of found photographs, building an archive particularly focused on women and queer subject matter.
Her passion for inspiring others creatively and love for LGBTQ history and community led her to join the Alice Austin House as a teaching artist.
“An image that has stuck with me since the first time I saw it is a self-portrait of 26-year-old Alice posing on the porch of Clear Comfort in her favorite yellow dress. There is something so powerful about her gaze and body language in that photograph. She commands your attention with a confidence you aren’t accustomed to seeing from women in photographs from that time period. It’s a photograph I’ll always come back to as a reminder of the importance of remaining true to your authentic self.”
Lee Donlon is a photographer and filmmaker based in Staten Island, New York. They primarily work with antiquated photographic processes, experimental materials, and handmade cinema.
Donlon began working at the Alice Austen House as a Teaching Artist after being featured in the AAH 2019 Triennial: Deliberate Acts. As a member of the Education Department they work to share the creative and liberatory power of photography with students of all ages.
Shani Mitchell is a highly motivated and versatile native Staten Islander. She has a B.F.A from Five Towns College and returned home with the passion and creative mind to create and collab with the art community within Staten Island.
As an actress, she has performed in web series, community theaters, and tv shows such as The Hunt with John Walsh. While she pursues her dreams to enter the entertainment industry (for film and tv) she creates films and videos for artist and organizations such as Staten Island Arts, Projectivity, Staten Island Urban Center, and many more.
Janet is an NYC-based mixed-media artist and printmaker with Bachelor’s Degrees in Graphic Design & Literature. While currently working as a teaching artist; she is also an aspiring graphic designer with a passion for colorful pallets , grunge textures, and quirky typography.
She was drawn to the Alice Austen House because of their inclusive programming and LGBTQ+ representation. Having taught with several museums, schools, and non-profits across Staten Island; she was thrilled at the prospect of retelling Austen’s history through a queer lens, and especially inspiring youths into telling their own familial and personal histories.
“My favorite photograph in the catalogue, so far, has to be the portrait of Gertrude Tate which was taken by Austen. The way she reclines in her seat, relaxed, with direct eye contact towards the camera speaks to the trust shared between both women. I doubt that just anyone could have taken such an intimate and loving photograph of Tate.”
Chantell is a Staten Island native who has worked for several years within The Arts and Visitor Services fields. She is a Crafter, Art Enthusiast and Historian with varied interests including the Victorian and Edwardian periods.
A graphic designer and communications strategist from Staten Island, Rachel has worked with organizations such as Roulette Intermedium, The String Orchestra of Brooklyn, NYSAI Press, The Staten Island Children’s Museum, and WNYC. As an artist, her audiovisual compositions draw work from internet archives, collaging found footage from the 1950s onward with her music or foley experiments. Rachel is a co-producer of the experimental art presenter collective, Queer Van Kult, which was awarded a DCA Premier Grant in 2020, DCA Grant and a residency at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in 2022.
Her favorite piece in the collection is Gertrude Tate holding her cat. “Alice’s photos have always felt so relatable—this queer artist taking photos with her friends and her partner. Aesthetics change, but the spirit of them—like a moment of seeing your loved one with a cat—are so eternal.”
Curator & Caretaker
Paul’s love of Alice Austen began as a young teenage volunteer at the museum. He has lived at the museum for over 12 years and followed his passion for photography in his career and is an Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME. He served as Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise of TIME from 2010 to 2018.
Paul Moakley produces special projects such as the recent “Opioid Diaries” and TIME’s Person of the Year. He was part of the Emmy award winning team for TIME’s interactive documentary Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience.
Previously he was senior photo editor at Newsweek and photo editor of PDN (Photo District News).
Alice Austen Scholar.
Pamela Bannos works with the Alice Austen House on new research and scholarship of the collections.
She is an artist and researcher who utilizes methods that highlight the forgotten and overlooked, exploring the links between visual representation, urban space, history, and collective memory. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife and is professor of photography at Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice.