Throw anything in Brooklyn (but something soft, please) and you’ll hit a panel where Kimberly Drew is describing a beautiful world where “more marginalized people enter institutions, learn the rules, and shatter and restructure them.” It’s a version of her story. As @museummammy on Instagram, a diary of both her life and black art (sometimes the same thing), she has over one hundred thousand followers. Her Tumblr, also wildly popular (Black Contemporary Art) came first, when she was an intern at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Both feel like a testament to the cultural thirst, but the fame is new for Kimberly: how does it feel? “I’m your quintessential Leo and love the love. I can’t even lie.”
As @museummammy on Instagram, Kimberly attempts to quench the cultural thirst for black art. This year saw her appearing everywhere from the jury at Berlinale to the pages of Glamour, interviewing Alicia Keys.
Outside of your work with the Met, what major projects are you working on right now? How’s it going?
I’m committing myself to reducing my carbon footprint and keeping in touch with my close friends. This year marks my fifth year in Bedford-Stuyvesant and I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’d like my next chapter to look. My subway daydreams are all about living a better life and enriching the lives of my loved ones.
You’ve been in the spotlight a lot this year. Do you enjoy it? Does it help or hinder your work?
I’m your quintessential Leo and love the love. I can’t even lie. When I began my career, one of my primary goals was to ensure that I was remembered for my rigor and diligence. All too often black, queer women are erased from history and I have always made a point of refusing erasure. Currently, I just completed my first cover story for Glamour and I don’t really think of visibility as an obstacle as much as a pathway to more brilliant opportunities. I feel very lucky to live my life, but it is sometimes hard work to manage all of my “extracurricular” activities. I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting an assistant so that I can have more time to flesh out and pursue new ideas, projects, and goals.
What are a few of the best things about your work? A few of the worst?
Honestly, I love it all. I work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I’m on the board for Recess (a small arts organization based in Tribeca and Downtown Brooklyn), I donate my time and money to The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Laundromat Project, and The Schomburg Center… I’m living the young, black American dream. If anything, the worst part of my life is having to find new goals.
In the future, what do you hope changes or improves (or continues!) in your field?
I hope that more marginalized people enter institutions, learn the rules, and shatter and restructure them. I love working in the arts because I was raised in this world. I hope that people from different backgrounds remain courageous and supported in this gorgeous field.
Learn more about this year’s 100 Influencers in Brooklyn Culture.