Who We Are: Meet Our Family Educators
Claire owes her passion for art – both viewing and creating it - to her childhood visits to an art gallery in Ontario. Born and raised near Toronto, her artistically-inclined family fueled her love of painting and playing cello. Soon after catching the travel bug, Claire took the first opportunity she had to travel to Europe. It was during a trip to Paris in the summer of 2008 that she saw her favorite exhibition to date: Maurice de Vlaminck at the Musée de Luxembourg. After falling in love with the fantastic colors and beautiful depictions of France, she knew she had to return to live and paint in the City of Light.
Claire completed her Masters in Art History and Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. While working in Toronto, she began to take French lessons and became a guide at the Art Gallery of Ontario in anticipation of her move to Paris in January 2013.
When she is not sharing her enthusiasm for Paris with families on our If Buildings Could Talk walks, Claire can be found painting and finding endless new subjects in a city that has inspired so many artists before her.
Born in Germany to Chinese-Filipino and Scottish-American parents, Kristen's eclectic heritage was a perfect fit growing up in Northern California. Frequent trips to Asia, South America and Europe as a child nourished her love for culture and her passion for travel.
Kristen received her BA degree from the University of San Francisco where she played on the university's NCAA Division I women’s soccer team. She studied Italian cinema, art and architecture. Her study abroad experience at the Loyola Rome Center ignited her fascination with art and its history. Kristen received her MA in Art History at Richmond University, London while also interning in the visual archives department at the National Gallery. After London, Kristen moved to Los Angeles to work at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she spent four years organizing curatorial related events and education programs.
As much as Kristen loves the California sun and surf, she decided to continue her adventure in Paris. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program in Artistic & Cultural Activities Management at the Paris School of Business. When not exploring the Louvre and sharing her passion for art with Muse Clues treasure hunters, Kristen can be spotted riding her bicycle around the city with a chausson aux pommes in her pocket and a smile on her face.
Originally from Ireland, Emma recently returned to Paris after living and working as a teacher in the shadow of the Alhambra in Granada. Before that, she was in London, developing her teaching skills and putting her passion and enthusiasm for art to good use by giving tours in the National Gallery.
Emma holds an international degree in History of Art and English Literature from University College Dublin and La Sorbonne Paris and has been involved in organizing art events and exhibitions with Irish artists.
She has a special fondness for stories, and believes that helping young people discover those stories for themselves makes art and history come to life. When not exploring the city’s museums, Emma enjoys reading a good book, armed with a cup of tea.
Born and raised in Africa by American missionary parents, Mary has traveled extensively throughout the world. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Georgia Tech. After practicing as an architect for several years, Mary discovered her true vocation while teaching: “I love seeing art and architecture through the eyes and imagination of young people.” She moved to Paris in 2005 to research her dissertation on the Maison de Verre, a modern architectural icon in the 7th arrondissement.
Growing up in a family of professional artists gave Mary a strong sense of the vital role that creativity plays in bringing families together. She enjoys developing ideas for new family programs with her own teenage daughters. In addition to being a mother, PhD candidate, and teacher, Mary is also director of the Paris Program for Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture and Planning.
Born and raised in Abruzzo, a sunny little region of central Italy, Barbara visited Paris for the first time when she was just eleven years old. She dreamt of returning to live in the city one day. She often thinks about these first memories of Paris when she gives tours to children for Paris Muse, and tries to offer young visitors the same unforgettable experience she had.
Barbara has a BA in foreign literatures and art, and an M.A. and PhD from the University of Lyon in France. When she is not working as a Paris Muse educator, Barbara teaches in a French university and works as an independent author for magazines and exhibition catalogues. Barbara is also the author of two books of short stories in Italian and hopes that Paris will inspire her to write more. She loves sharing her passion for art with visitors to the Louvre, particularly in the Italian Renaissance galleries where she feels especially at home!
While growing up under the California sunshine, Rachel nurtured her early Francophilia with New Wave films and self-taught French. Trained in classical ballet, she has taught ballet to dancers of all ages. Outside the studio, she worked as a preschool teacher, and spent a year in Rouen, France teaching English to primary school children, before receiving her BA in French and Art History at California Lutheran University.
Her MA degree in Art History at Richmond University led to a six-year stay in London. While there, she worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum, helping to organize exhibitions. In 2008, Rachel returned to her passion for French culture, with a move to Paris.
When she isn’t sharing the treasures of the Louvre with families, Rachel divides her time between art consulting and teaching an Art Market course to undergraduate students at the American University in Paris.
As Rachel explains, “I’m thrilled to be able to experience art on all different levels, whether with a client at an art fair or in the lecture room with university students. However, when introducing children to art I am truly connected to the fascination visual culture can inspire!”
Colleen moved to Paris in 2006 for dissertation research, but ended up finding her home instead. From the numerous museums to the wafting smells of freshly baked bread, she also loves the city’s relationship between old and new, between history and possibility.
For Colleen, art is a means to explore cultures in new ways. She enjoys helping those cultures come alive for children when they see firsthand a related work of art in the galleries of the Louvre. The excitement and wonder she witnesses in children’s eyes when they connect art to a lesson learned in school confirms her belief in the importance of art in education. She loves to learn from children's questions and their imaginative interpretations of the objects they see.
Colleen received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009, and she is currently revising her dissertation into a book manuscript. In addition to leading Paris Muse Clues tours, she teaches Comparative Literature and Critical Theory at the American University of Paris and at Parsons Paris. When she isn’t giving tours or teaching, Colleen enjoys exploring Paris’ streets and gardens, savoring exquisite gateaux and tartes, knitting, and finding new reasons to add to the long list of why she loves Paris.
Mallory has nurtured her passion for museums, history and the arts over many years. Growing up in Texas, she attended the Museum School at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History as a young girl. Later, she spent two summers at New York University soaking up the creative energy of the Big Apple. Being able to share her love for these subjects in Paris is a dream come true.
Before moving to Paris, Mallory majored in History and minored in Architectural History at Texas A&M University. She then earned a graduate degree in Education from the University of North Texas. After graduating, Mallory spent five years teaching high school Social Studies, including advanced classes in both World Geography and World History. During her time in the classroom, she especially enjoyed seeing students have their “light bulb moments,” when they were able to make connections between historical events and their own experiences. Seeing this happen for Paris Muse families, in front of actual works of art, is an even more rewarding experience. Whether in the classroom or musing with Paris visitors, Mallory loves nothing more than to facilitate these moments of discovery.
Paris is a far cry from a horse farm in Prince Edward County, Canada where Philip grew up. After spending four years exploring Europe from his base in London, he was not quite ready to settle back in Canada just yet, although he certainly misses his nine nieces and nephews!
With a BA and MA in history from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, Philip hopped the pond to complete his Ph.D. in medieval history at the University of London, under the supervision of a renowned Crusades historian.
“The great thing about showing kids around the Louvre is that all that is old becomes new again, because you can feel their excitement and see it through their eyes.” he says. “And when we descend into the medieval Louvre and imagine ourselves storming the walls of this medieval castle, my favourite time in history comes alive for a new generation.”
Alexandra hails from Washington DC, where she spent 5 years leading education programs for families at the National Gallery of Art. Having grown up with the Smithsonian museums in her backyard, Alexandra has always considered museums to be fun, dynamic places to learn and explore. She now enjoys sharing that same learning experience with her young Paris Muse visitors.
Alexandra first fell in love with Paris as a university exchange student. She was thrilled to return to the City of Light in 2009 to pursue her Masters degree in Museum Education. She holds a BA in Art History and French from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. When not leading families on treasure hunts through the Louvre or conducting research for her thesis, Alexandra can be found strolling along Canal Saint-Martin, practicing pirouettes in a dance class or sampling dark chocolate at any of the city’s decadent chocolatiers.
A native of Queens, New York, Inge made her dream her home address in 2001. After many years of teaching, including as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa and a French high school teacher in Brooklyn, she bought herself a one-way ticket to the City of Light and has never looked back since: “Paris has that effect on you. After ten years, it still thrills me.”
Inge’s Belgian mom turned her on to art at a very young age. “I still remember the book she gave me about Cézanne. So I know from first-hand experience that kids can get excited about art!” Since 2008 she has been sharing that excitement with families on our “Paris Muse Clues” tour of the Louvre, and showing them the city she loves on our “If Buildings Could Talk” Walk. “It is just so rewarding to see kids and their parents get involved and take a real interest in art”, she explains. “When an eight-year-old tells me she feels like she met the Mona Lisa, or a kid gets a sparkle in his eye over ancient Greek goddesses or medieval gargoyles, I go home happy.”
After earning an undergraduate degree in Classics and Art History in Canada, Inge went on to do a Master’s in Linguistics and Translation at Paris’s Sorbonne University. When she is not leading tours for Paris Muse, she works as a translator from French and Italian into English. In between tours and translations, she can be found strolling the parks of Paris with friends, exploring other parts of Europe and the world, or learning to dance.
Kelly discovered art museums as an undergraduate at DePauw University, and quickly left her chemistry major to explore the rich and deeply rewarding field of art history. Her interests soon brought her to Paris—a city that is itself a museum—and she’s been returning as often as possible since. Recently she worked as a research assistant at the Musée d’Orsay, where she took every opportunity to sneak away, to spend time with the paintings. She also worked at the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, the New Museum in New York, and the Getty in Los Angeles.
Kelly enjoys teaching in museums and sharing her passion for art--especially with kids, who are often the best observers of an artwork’s wonderful details. She has a master’s degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. Currently, as a PhD student at MIT, she’s working on the intersection between science and aesthetics in nineteenth-century France. She spends her free time wandering Paris’ many parks and sharing summer picnics with friends.
The creative arts of fashion, painting, theater, and writing are ways for Anya to connect with both children and adults. They are also tools to learn about the world: “Only half of a painting is made from paint and canvas. The rest is made from philosophy, poetry, math and history. Teaching and learning with the arts provides a rich multi-disciplinary experience.”
After appearing in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in Washington DC, Anya took off for the real Paris, where she participated in an art residency. She then used Warhols and Watteaus to educate 350 students for the French Ministry of Education.
Anya holds degrees in Art History and English from The George Washington University. She is completing her Masters at Columbia University in French Cultural Studies in Paris with a focus on the French aesthetics of decadence. Her award-winning poetry about Paris has been recently published in a DC literary review. She is currently writing Au Pairytales about her past “au pairenting” adventures. When not searching for treasures in the Louvre, you are likely to find Anya playing dress-up somewhere with chandeliers.
Hailing from London, Davinia holds a BA in Illustration and an MA in History of design from the V&A and Royal College of Art. Her passion for teaching in museums sprung from her love of children’s book illustration: “teaching with pictures and objects is incredibly rewarding as images are the first things that a child learns to read. Their imaginations, their whole capacities for learning are rooted in the visual.”
Her love of bringing history to life with images was nourished in London’s major Galleries, where she took children on drawing discovery tours of the National Portrait Gallery. She also taught adults about her two more grown-up passions: diaspora in design and post-war British suburban town planning, for the V&A’s 20th Century Design Course.
When not musing with the Louvre’s Junior visitors and their families, Davinia can be found discovering the jazz hangouts of Paris, like one of Disney’s Aristocats, or lecturing on design history at London’s Kingston University and University for the Creative arts.
Elisa credits her passion for art history to her many childhood visits to Europe, and especially to Paris. She loves teaching children about art because of her own early exposure to masterpieces by her mom, a museum docent in her hometown of Dallas, Texas. "There is nothing like learning about art and architecture for the first time. I love watching children's eyes light up as they discover all of the amazing stories that art tells us."
Elisa is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University. She holds a Master’s in Teaching from Simmons College and has taught art history at Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas at Arlington. She enjoys teaching in museums in particular, and has worked as a graduate intern at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Elisa loves Paris all year round, but especially in the springtime, when all the little Parisian dogs come out to play!
Tricia’s been living an American born-and-bred girl’s dream for over 5 years. Hailing from the Midwest, she fell madly in love with France in her first high school French class. After getting her Master’s in Speech/Language Pathology and working with children as a speech therapist in the States for several years, she succumbed to the lure of travel.
After working in Liberia, Africa as an Education Director for an NGO that provided free education to children-of-war, the opportunity to continue working in education/relief development with immigrants in Paris came knocking on her door. When not sharing her passion for art and all things French with families with Paris Muse, she teaches English to people of all ages and backgrounds and continues working with disadvantaged youth in Paris.
Passionate about children, education, art history and Paris, Tricia finds Paris Muse the perfect job to combine them all!
Hailing from tiny Rhode Island, Marjorie moved to Paris in September of 2011 to undertake a Master’s degree program in Art History, French Literature, and Linguistics at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales. Enamored of the French language and enthralled by Paris’s art culture, she couldn’t think of a better place to pursue her interests in both.
Before arriving in Paris, Marjorie completed her BA in Philosophy and French at the University of Rhode Island. While on an exchange program in the quaint town of Compiègne in 2009, she realized she could never resist the magnetic pull of France.
When not exploring the Louvre with Paris Muse families, Marjorie can be found indulging in Paris’s multitude of bistros and bakeries. She still has a hard time deciding whether she prefers the croûte (the crunchy crust) or the mie (the chewy interior) of a French baguette.
Laura was fascinated by history and art from an early age, so she spent much of her childhood in the museums and galleries of London, where she grew up. She went on to study Archaeology, Classics and Classical art at University College London. As a student, she participated in archaeological excavations, travelling from Syria to Italy and touring the premier sites and museums of classical antiquity.
Laura’s Mexican heritage encouraged her growing interest in Latin American archaeology and art, an area of study she pursued at the Universiteit Leiden in Holland, where she is currently completing her doctoral degree in Classic Mayan art.
“Art and archaeological artifacts can make cultures that seem so distanced from us come alive in a meaningful way. You just have to know how to look.” As a family guide, Laura enjoys introducing this way of looking to children, helping them to imagine art, materials and people from a different perspective.
Before moving to Paris full-time, Jessica worked in the education departments of several museums–including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC-giving tours and developing programs for visitors of all ages.
"I love introducing children to the art of different cultures and time periods," Jessica says. "Their questions and observations help me think about art objects I've seen hundreds of times in new ways. It's really inspiring."
As an art history major at the University of California, San Diego, Jessica came to France to spend an undergraduate year in Bordeaux. She then went on to earn an MA in art history from Williams College. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Michigan focusing on eighteenth-century French portraiture. When not thinking about portraits or giving tours for Paris Muse, Jessica spends her time looking for the best tarte au citron in Paris, watching rugby, and exploring the French music scene.
Originally from California, Katie Hornstein devised a career-path to satisfy her chronic Francophilia. As an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley, Katie majored in Art History and French, and studied abroad in Lyon, France for a year. After graduating, she returned to France to teach English at a French high school and intern at the Centre Pompidou. She headed back to the United States in 2003 to begin a PhD at the University of Michigan which eventually allowed her to move back to Paris for dissertation research on a Fulbright Fellowship. After defending her dissertation in 2010, Katie received a post-doctoral fellowship and now spends her time revising her doctoral thesis into a book, and eating her way through Paris.