JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Dr. Karen Henricks Named Berman Museum Volunteer of the Year

Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau

JACKSONVILLE -- October 11, 2001 -- Dr. Karen Henricks is a professor at Jacksonville State University, volunteer, board member, consultant, curator, and interpreter. And this busy woman was recently given another title: Berman Museum Volunteer of the Year.

For 13 years, Henricks has taught Art History at JSU. She has also spent a lot of time volunteering her expertise at the Berman Museum in Anniston.

"All my work is volunteered," says Henricks. "The Museum didn't have a staff art historian, so for a little more than two years I have been serving them in that area."

When Farley Berman left his art collection to the Berman Museum, Henricks helped historians put together the exhibit called "Treasures of the New Acquisition." Only a year later, her expertise was put to use again with "Arts of Asia: Sacred and Secular."

"This was not my particular area of study," says Henricks. But that didn't stop her from being involved in the project. "I worked to interface art historians from Birmingham and other areas."

And Henricks doesn't leave anyone out. "I want to get my students involved in the shows as well. Most students taking art history are interested in museum work. And work with the Anniston Museum proves to be a valuable experience. It is a rewarding relationship" between JSU and the museum.

Henricks' students intern with the museum, perform research and even marketing for exhibits. Many of her students go on to work with the Anniston Museum Complex or other museums.

And she believes she has the best job. "I have the best of both worlds: I teach and work in the museum." Not only is she teaching her students about art history, "I'm teaching others to appreciate it."

"I am building something that will stay in the area and that enriches this area," says Henricks of the exhibits. Many don't realize the wonderful treasure and wonderful resources we have in this museum. My goal is to change the way people think about those resources and raise consciousness about being involved."

The Berman Museum Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to volunteers based on the number of hours they serve and the diversity of work they perform.

"[Henricks] does so much in so many areas," says Susan Robertson of the Berman Museum. "She has brought a level of expertise that we needed to better appreciate and understand some pieces that are on exhibit."

"Because of her knowledge in the art world, she has added a whole new dimension to our work. She has revealed more than just the financial value of objects. She has shown us the value of these objects to the cultures who made them. She's much like an interpreter, for those cultures."

Henricks was appointed to the Berman Foundation Board that manages collections of the museum after her extensive work with the exhibits.


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