Jump to Navigation



4834 8th Street South, Arlington, VA. 22204

(703) 920-4077, Fax: (703) 920-4013, in Vieques 787-741-1769

egurian@egurian.com, www.egurian.com



Elaine Heumann Gurian is a consultant/advisor to many museums and visitor centers that are beginning, building or reinventing themselves. Her current clients include the Detroit Zoo, Detroit, MI, Museum of Euro-Maidan, Kiev, Ukraine, Royal BC Museum, Victoria, Canada, the Museum of the Moving Image, Melbourne, Australia, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, and Fundacion TyPA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the past she has worked as a senior consultant to the following projects (a partial list); the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Jewish Museum, Berlin, the Exploratorium, the City of London, UK, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Australia, the Museum of the Resistance, Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, the National Discovery Museum, Thailand, National Museum of Australia, CIRMA, the National Archive of Guatemala, Te Papa; the National Museum of New Zealand, the Museum of World Cultures, Gothenburg Sweden, and the Dubai Municipality Children’s Museum, Dubai, UAE.

Ms. Gurian is a teacher, coach, and lecturer at many academic and in-service programs of museum studies worldwide. She annually lectures in the museum leadership program, Resilience, UK and GW Museum Education, Washington DC. In 2018, she was awarded a Fulbright to the Museum of the Euro-Maidan, Ukraine, in 2015, a museum fellowship to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM, in 2012, an Osher Fellow at the Exploratorium, San Francisco, in 2011; a Salzburg Scholar, in 2007; was a Fulbright Scholar at Fundacion TyPA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has twice been named Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan Graduate Program in Museum Studies, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ms. Gurian regularly taught a module at Museion, the museum graduate program of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Gurian is a frequent keynote speaker in 2018, she spoke at Museum Association UK and Association of Art Museum Directors, in MuseumNext in Melbourne, Australia and in Medellin, Columbia for Reimagining the Museum in 2017. She was one of five keynote speakers at the ICOM triennial conference in Vienna, Austria in 2007.

Ms. Gurian is widely published with four chapters appearing in anthologies in 2018-19. In 2006, Routledge published her work, Civilizing the Museum: The Collected Writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian. She is editor for the volume. Institutional Trauma: The Effect of Major Change on Museum Staff.

In 2006 Elaine Heumann Gurian was inducted as one of the 100 Centennial Honor Roll members by the American Association of Museums, who also honored her with the Distinguished Service to Museums Awards in 2004, the most prestigious recognition in the American museum profession. In 1993, Elaine Heumann Gurian was chosen as “Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever Award” from the Lab School of Washington and “The Distinguished Service Alumni Award for the Class of 1958” from Brandeis University. Gurian was awarded the “Museum Educator’s Award for Excellence” in 1985.

Gurian is a past president of the Museum Group (an association of independent museum consultants) and has served on the Advisory Arts Council to the President of Brandeis University. In the past, Gurian has been elected Treasurer, Vice President, and Councilor-At-Large for the American Association of Museums (AAM), board member of the American chapter of the International Council on Museums (AAM/ICOM), a regional representative of the Museum Education Committee (AAM/EdCom) and Vice President of the International Museum Education Committee (ICOM/CECA). She was appointed a member of the AAM task force on education which created Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums.

Ms. Gurian has served as the Acting Director of the Cranbrook Institute of Science during construction, redesign, and installation of the museum between the death of the former director and the appointment for the new one from 1997-1999. From 1991 to 1994, she was the Deputy Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which opened to the public in April 1993. During 1990 and 1991, Ms. Gurian served as Deputy Director for Public Program Planning for the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. From 1987 to 1990, Gurian was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Museums at the Smithsonian, providing oversight for all 14 Smithsonian museums with a combined annual Federal appropriation of approximately $120 million. For sixteen years (1972 - 1987), Elaine Heumann Gurian was the Director of the Exhibit Center, the public facility of the Boston Children’s Museum. From 1969 to 1972, Elaine Heumann Gurian was the Director of Education at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA. She helped create RECYCLE, a program, and shop that recirculated manufactured leftovers to schools and individuals which continued from 1970 until 2000. In her early career, she served as the art teacher for kindergarten through 6th grade at the Solomon Schechter School in Newton, Massachusetts. Elaine Heumann Gurian holds a B.A. in art history from Brandeis University and an M.Ed. in elementary education and art education from State College at Boston.