Toys: Spokesperson Bios

For immediate release

Release dated: 
February 24, 2014
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org
Amy Danielson, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3020, amy.danielson@mnhs.org

Toys: Spokesperson Bios

Kate Roberts, Senior Exhibit Developer
Kate Roberts is amazed and delighted by the power of objects to elicit memories from exhibit visitors and to spark direct connections to larger historical themes. Describing "Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s," Roberts says that "people get it, they connect immediately, they can't wait to learn more, they launch right into stories about play time and lists of favorite toys." Developing the exhibit has been great fun, especially the unexpected workplace conversations that include questions like, "Do you think we have enough trolls yet?"

Roberts has worked on exhibits for the Minnesota Historical Society for more than 20 years. She was born and raised in Moorhead, MN. Roberts attended Moorhead State University (now Minnesota State University Moorhead) for her undergraduate degree in Humanities and Arts Management and the University of Minnesota for her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History. She is co-author, with Adam Scher, of the accompanying book, "Toys of the '50s, '60s, and '70s."

Adam Scher, Senior Curator and Exhibit Collections Representative
Adam Scher curates MNHS’s three-dimensional artifact collections, including more than 4,700 toys and dolls. Born in 1960, Scher "played with many of these toys and researching their history – particularly their advertising campaigns – was like a trip down memory lane." He says the work of collecting personal stories has made this project a labor of love.

Scher was born in Baltimore, MD. He received his B.A. in American Studies from the University of Maryland and his M.A. in Museum Studies from George Washington University. A museum professional for nearly 30 years, he has held positions at the National Museum of American History, the Lynchburg Museum System in Lynchburg, VA, and the American Civil War Center in Richmond, VA. He is co-author, with Kate Roberts, of the accompanying book, "Toys of the '50s, '60s, and '70s."

Dan Spock, Director, Minnesota History Center
Dan Spock fondly remembers playing with the astronaut toy Major Matt Mason. It came with a bunch of "cool" accessories including a space station and moon crawler.

Spock leads the exhibits and multimedia programs as well as the MNHS diversity and inclusiveness initiative. Under his leadership his team has developed a number of dynamic exhibits including "Minnesota and the Civil War," "The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862" and "Then Now Wow," the largest exhibit MNHS has ever created. His team has also developed exhibits that travel nationally, including "The 1968 Exhibit" and now "Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s." Spock has a B.A. in art from Antioch College.

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