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.
Zoë is a painter and installation artist who has worked in museums for seven years. Zoë has developed and presented LGBTQ+ programs for children, families, and adults.
In her role at AAH, she is responsible for the daily operations, rentals, and visitor services of the museum. AAH’s rich history, significance to the LGBTQ+ community, and trailblazing programming and exhibitions drew Zoë to the organization
“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.”
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. “
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.”
Dir. of education
Anna fell in love with the magic of photography at the knee of her grandmother telling stories about family pictures. Her history with the Alice Austen House began in 2010 as a visitor. Now, she is happy to be running its education programs.
With LightField, the nonprofit she founded in 2016, she launched a bi-annual photo festival that aims to use the power of visual art to illuminate social and environmental issues. LightField is planning its 2022 edition now. For over eight years, she curated the monthly Half King Photography Series in New York City, exhibiting and presenting over seventy exhibits, book launches, & pop-up screenings.
In May of 2018 she earned an MFA in fiction from The New School. Her piece about Gerda Taro & Lee Miller appeared in Musee Magazine’s Women issue.
My favorite piece is “Group on tennis ground.“ I love that the photo is so early, from 1886. I love the body language of Alice and her friends, how at ease the men and women are with each other, lying together on the grass in an intimacy and ease I rarely see in Victorian scenes. I love Alice’s cable, the pattern of her dress, the racquets, the two men in the front symmetrically posed.”
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.
Alyssa is a new media artist specializing in digital production and photography. She began at the Alice Austen House as a teaching artist on LGBTQ+ programs and has worked within both the visitor services and education departments since 2018. Her love of Austen and her work stems from being a Staten Island native, longing for a space to belong in the borough.
Alyssa designs and develops all media and website communications, assisting in grant delivery and foundation partnerships. Working between both the education and development departments, she aids in curriculum development and teaching in-museum and in-school programs. She also provides digital interactive experiences within the museum and within school curriculum.
Her favorite pieces include some of the iconic photographs and vintage cameras used to teach her classes, but right now, her favorite piece is the Cast Iron Pug Figurine.
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).
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.
Sabella Kahn is an artist from Brooklyn, New York with Bachelor’s degrees in studio art and environmental science from Brooklyn College.
Passionate about art and the environment, her goal is to use art as a tool to speak about climate change. She works with varying mediums including photography, videography, animation, drawing, painting, and printmaking. She believes art education aids children’s development into confident adults and encourages her students to create art that expresses their individuality.
“My favorite image from the catalog is this one of Gertrude dancing, simply because there is so much joy captured in this moment.”
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.”