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.
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:
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:
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:
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