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The University of Texas at Austin

About the Dolph Briscoe Center

Directory - Lynn Bell

Portrait of Lynn Bell

Photo by Sherre Paris

Lynn Bell, Assistant Director for Exhibits and Material Culture, has curated or coordinated more than 200 exhibits for The University of Texas at Austin Center for American History (CAH) and its predecessor, the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, since 1981.  Ms. Bell is responsible for planning, scheduling, and implementing a wide variety of exhibits at four sites administered by the CAH: the Research and Collections Division on the main campus; the Sam Rayburn Museum in Bonham; the John Nance Garner Museum in Uvalde; Winedale, a complex of restored nineteenth-century houses near Round Top, Texas.

Ms. Bell also oversees an extensive collection of material culture at these sites comprising rare artifacts, clothing, and textiles that date from the Anglo settlement of Texas in the early 19th  through the 20th century.

Exhibitions at these sites have encompassed topics in Texas and Southern history, news media history, civil rights, women’s history, decorative arts, the entertainment industry, and Texas music.

Ms. Bell recently coordinated and co-curated the refurbishment of all exhibits at the Rayburn Museum (2005) and at the Garner Museum (2003), collaborating with exhibits designer Drew Patterson Studios.

In addition, Ms. Bell is responsible for coordinating the rental of fourteen CAH photograph exhibits at museums across the country, including:

  • Changing the Face of Power, Women in the U. S. Senate, Photographs by Melina Mara
  • Photo Du Jour, A Photograph a Day, by David Hume Kennerly
  • Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Photographs by Flip Schulke
  • Russell Lee Photographs

In addition to presentations about CAH collections to community and school groups, Ms. Bell has lectured at Texas Association of Museums annual conferences on topics ranging from effective exhibit practices to collaborative projects with schools, museums, and free-lance exhibit designers. In 1999 she served as a lecturer at a conference for Romanian archivists in Bacau, Romania.

In 2004 Ms. Bell was chosen from among hundreds of nominees and received The University of Texas at Austin Employee Excellence Award given to employees of the University in recognition of consistent, high-level performance.

Currently serving on the Board of Directors for ACCESS for Learning, Inc., a collaborative to promote museum resources in K-12 classrooms, Ms. Bell has been active in this museum/school partnership since its inception in 1996.

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