It would be hard to find someone more prepared for a job than Silvia Perea. An architect by training — she earned a Ph.D. from the Polytechnic University of Madrid — she has spent the past 11 years as a curator of exhibitions around the world. Before that she was a university professor and edited architectural magazines. Today she is the new curator of UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum, which holds the largest collection of architectural drawings in North America.
Perea comes to the museum eager to showcase its strengths and to seek new ways to bring its collection to a wide audience. The Current caught up with Perea to ask about the museum and her plans for the future of the collection.
Last October, the AD&A Museum was awarded a competitive National Endowment for the Humanities Grant for Infrastructure and Capacity Building. The grant will partly fund the relocation of our collection to a new storage facility off-campus. This is a major project which entails not only adapting the organization of the collection to a new space, but also addressing functionality, conservation and security measures. Our challenge is to organize the collection in such a way that is easily accessible and still leaves enough room for future growth. It is a collective endeavor which involves everyone at the AD&A and representatives of the UCSB’s College of Letters and Sciences, under which the museum operates — leadership, administrators, development officers, professors, collection managers, designers, curators — and even includes members and donors.