Tomorrow I’ll be interviewing Christine Knoke, the Mingei Museum’s director of exhibitions. She joined the museum last June after nearly 15 years at a Pasadena museum.

I learned recently a Japanese philosopher coined “mingei” to mean “folk arts” or “arts of the people.” The museum is full of objects from all over the world that can be used, the arts of daily life like clothing and utensils and tools and tapestries.

I’m planning to ask Knoke about the massive bead collection the museum just inherited from an Arizona museum that closed. I’ll ask what it’s like to coordinate cultural and multiethnic exhibits with guest curators, how you can possibly have your arms around a collection that includes close to 20,000 items, and about an upcoming exhibition of quilts from the American South she’s curating. She wasn’t here when the Mingei was implicated in a federal investigation into an illegal artifact ring, but I’ll still ask her how that impacts her work now at the museum.

Have any questions you think I should ask? Drop me a line or leave a comment.

I’m the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531 and follow me on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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