Victoria is responsible for all aspects of the museum’s staffing and development and for the artistic direction of the Alice Austen House. 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.
Alex is a NYC-based student of Art History with a particular interest in the intertwined ecological and social environments of New York. Born and raised in California, Alex holds a BA from Santa Clara University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Art History from the City College of New York.
Alex first visited the Alice Austen House in 2019 while a Fellow at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY and was immediately struck by the House’s commitment to interpreting the present through the past. As Development Specialist, Alex manages institutional relationships and grants for the Alice Austen House.
Looking at Alice’s photograph of the Mountain House makes me sentimental for my own memories at the (now demolished) site. I’d like to think that her photographs of the Mountain House also occupied a sentimental place for Alice, who spent time with Gertrude in the Catskills.
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 museum’s 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.”
Education & Community Outreach coordinator
Sophie is a transdiciplinary artist working as a fine art photographer, printmaker and creative director. Primarily working with concepts of historical archive and queer ecology; their practice is powered by the understanding that photography can be a driving force for social engagement and change. Sophie is best known for their falsified tintype archives of the LGBTQIA+ community, created with the wet plate collodion process.
Having first come across Austen’s portfolio on photographic blogs some years ago, Sophie has always been enamored with the self expression and playfulness that comes through in Austen’s work. Themes that speak to the tender, joyful and affirming experiences of existing within the queer community.
Sophie earned their MFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design and a BFA in filmmaking from Deakin University in Australia.
Education & Visitor services AsSociate
Lexy’s relationship with the Alice Austen House began when they participated in the museum’s LGBTQ+ Photographic Storytelling Program with their high school Gender Sexuality Alliance. After graduating, they joined the museum staff, assisting with visitor services and education programs. They are currently studying creative writing at CCNY. Lexy aspires to write literature that explores all levels of queerness and embraces the community’s diversity in a historically cis, white, Achillean industry.
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.
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 15 years and followed his passion for photography in his career and is Executive Producer of Video Content for the New Yorker.
Previously he was Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME where he produced “The 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.
He served as Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise of TIME from 2010 to 2018. He was also Senior Photo editor at Newsweek and Photo Editor of PDN (Photo District News).
Pasinee believes that learning photography is fun! She formerly created photo education programs in Thailand, collaborated internationally to bring free learning events for everyone to enjoy seeing, using, and making photographs.
Interning at Alice Austen House, whose she has been starstruck by since college when she got a chance to watch ‘The Female Closet’ documentary, Pasinee loves to learn about public programs and hopes to continue Alice Austen’s legacy of making the house a welcoming creative LGBTQ+ space.