Personality Test: Barbara Jones |

Personality Test: Barbara Jones

Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Barbara Jones, chief curator at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, stands for a portrait on Aug. 2, 2016.
Getty Images for AFI
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 04: Actress Diane Keaton attends the 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award Gala honoring Steve Martin at Dolby Theatre on June 4, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)

Deep within Barbara Jones beats the heart of a biker chick.

The chief curator at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg thinks people might be surprised to know that, during the 1970s as an undergrad at the University of South Carolina, she drove a Kawasaki 350, and sometimes “in the spring, I still get that urge.”

More surprising might be that, given her bona fides, she says she got the curator post because her resume ended up on top of the pile when museum director and CEO Judy O’Toole started interviewing candidates.

Perhaps the Belmont, N.Y., native was helped by the “instant connection” the two shared, or by a master’s degree in art history from Syracuse University.

And by a graduate internship at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

And by stints in New York at the IBM Gallery of Science and Art and the Pei Cobb Freed & Partners architectural firm (and yes, that means I.M. Pei).

Whatever the reasons, in October she will celebrate 21 years at a position where, she says, “right away, I fell in love with the museum and its fabulous collection.”

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Diane Keaton — she’s laid-back but serious, a little awkward and quirky

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My Poor Pitiful Pearl doll — my last doll. My mother gave her to me in the ’60s when I was 11 or 12.

Favorite app:


Favorite season:

Spring, when all the growth starts again, flowers and trees bloom, air is fresh

Favorite ethnic food:


The song I want played at my funeral:

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version

Show I have or want to binge-watch:

“The Andy Griffith Show”

My favorite cable channel:

The Movie Channel (TMC) — I’m an old movie lover

Who’s your favorite TV or movie villain?

William H. Macy

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

“Now Voyager” with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid

The movie that always makes me cry:

“An Affair to Remember” with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant

The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Bruce Springsteen at a music festival in South Carolina (1971 or ’72)

The best concert I’ve ever seen:

k.d. lang

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Turtle sundae from Meadows Original Frozen Custard

I wish I had more time to:

Work in my garden

Something I would do over if I could and why:

Start my curatorial career path earlier

In high school, I was:

A cheerleader

If I could go back, I’d tell my teenage self …

Do what you love!

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Chicken salad (no onions) on wheat with lettuce only

My most embarrassing junk food:

Cheese puffs

Best vacation ever:

Two weeks exploring Germany with my late partner, David Ludwig

In five years, I’d like to:

Retire, but still work with art or in a curatorial role in some way

My most treasured fashion accessory is:

My mother’s diamonds — rings made into a necklace and a second ring

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