RBSC Staff


Portrait of James Connolly holding Nixon object in front of face
James Connolly, Collection Manager

James Connolly, Collection Manager (2010 - present)
Bio: I started working at the RBSC in the fall of 2006 as an intern and was hired as staff when I received my BFA in 2010. I've also taught in the department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation since 2013. Over the years I've focused on using the objects in the collection to initiate conversations that inform the creative practice and engage with various political and social topics. I've also used my skills as a new media artist to build digital systems to manage our collections and make them accessible to staff, students, and visitors.
Links and contact: jconno@saic.edu | jameshconnolly.com | instagram.com/jxconno
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for fall 2019: Thomas Dolby - Airhead and The Mamas and the Papas - self titled




Student Staff

Jordan Keyes, Curatorial Assistant (2021-present)


Olivier, Curatorial Assistant (2021-present)


Mariana Mejía, Curatorial Assistant (2021-present)


Meagan Howard, Curatorial Assistant (2020-present)


Dylan Mattox, Curatorial Assistant (2020-present)


Elizabeth Berg, Curatorial Assistant (2020)




Former and affiliated staff

Portrait of Lisa Stone near sideshow banner
Lisa Stone, Curator (1996 - 2020)

Lisa Stone, Curator (1996 - 2020)
Bio: Lisa Stone was Curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection from its founding in 1996 to her retirement in June 2020. The work Lisa did in those 24 years estabilished the RBSC as the unique house museum, art collection, and extensive archive that it remains today. Lisa worked closely with Roger Brown prior to his death in 1997 to turn his former home and studio into a valuable resource for the SAIC community, and Lisa ensured that the space properly evoked Roger's life and work. Correspondence between Lisa and Roger are among the most important documents in our archive. Those, along with Lisa's extensive scholarship into the life of Roger Brown and the artists represented in our collection, continue to inform and drive our institutional mission. The curatorial vision, integrity, and sprit Lisa brought to the RBSC is incredibly important, and we wouldn't be here without it. Thank you Lisa!
Lisa's bio from the RBSC Staff website: I have been honored and lucky to be curator of the RBSC since its humble beginnings in 1997. My goal here is to conjoin the histories of a modest 19th-century building and a significant 20th-century artist into a place that is alive and performs fully in the 21st century. I am also honored and lucky to teach in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. I earned a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from SAIC. My research and teaching concern the preservation and interpretation of artist’s environments and collections, and the relationship of objects to creative practice. I toil on a garden/ruin in Spring Lake, Wisconsin, except in winter.



Portrait of Nick Lowe with silent butler
Nick Lowe, affiliated faculty

Nick Lowe, Chair, Historic Preservation program and RBSC La Conchita Collection Curator

Bio: The Study Collection is a fantastic resource. At once both a straightforward collection of objects and an astoundingly rich array of cultural narrative detail. I often find that just as I think I understand it, other associations present themselves to challenge what I thought I knew. When teaching I often talk about the objects as existing within an ecosystem. While the material details appear to remain constant, the meanings and relative definitions are like a mirror and always a matter for the viewer to decide. Through teaching with the collection I am constantly surprised by the details my students bring. Once you think you know what it is, think again.

My interests in working with the collection began as a steering committee member in 2007 and  my engagement has continued to deepen. In 2010 I worked with Lisa Stone and the staff to curate the exhibition Roger Brown: Calif. U.S.A, which was presented at the Hyde Part Art Center. Through this research, and subsequently also in the pursuit of a number of personal creative and curatorial projects I’ve come to understand the collection as a constantly changing constellation of things that invites ongoing investigation and interpretation.

Portrait of RBSC staff member Mia Morettini in the Yoakum room

Mia Morettini, Curatorial Assistant (2019 - present)
Bio: I'm a first year MAVCS candidate with a background in writing, painting, and drawing. I've spent the last few years collecting found objects-- mostly toys-- and reconfiguring them through mixed media projects. At RBSC I'm interested in seeing how art and objects, when stripped away from the pristine gallery setting and contexts, can cohabitate and form new stories and relationships around each other. My favorite items in the collection tend to be the tiny objects tucked in the backs of shelves or behind much larger pieces. They can feel like little tricksters hiding in wait to be discovered by those who look very closely... Through my work here, I'm also actively engaging with the works of the Imagists and am currently scanning masterwork transparencies of Roger Brown's paintings.
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for fall 2019: Graceland - Paul Simon,Always - Patsy Cline


Portrait of Marian Thompson in the Roger Brown Study Collection

Marian Thompson, Curatorial Assistant (2020 - present)
Bio: I’m a first year MS in Historic Preservation student with an interest in object collections, archives, and documentation practices. I did my BFA with an emphasis in Writing at SAIC, and worked for a few years researching and cataloging antique collections for an auction house. I’m interested in information accessibility and interpretation outside of the physical confines of an archive setting and the long term stability of electronic data. Outside of academic environments I’m an avid gamer and member of a few Chicago video gaming communities. 
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for spring 2020: Patsy Cline - Stop, Look and Listen, and The Music Man Original Soundtrack


Portrait of Gabrielle Christiansen in the RBSC

Gabrielle Christiansen, Curatorial Assistant (2019-2021)
I am an Art History Master’s candidate at SAIC who was drawn to work at the RBSC through my fascination with non-mainframe art production, alternative museum environments, and American visual culture. In my time working at this house museum I have come to appreciate the intimate and evolving connection one can have to art collecting and curating, and have found great pleasure in the ability to engage with artwork in a domestic context. My art historical research interests beyond the RBSC are largely concerned with issues pertaining to labor, class, and the intersections between popular visual culture and the art world. Before coming to SAIC, I lived and worked in my place of origin, St. Louis, Missouri.
Links and contact: instagram.com/ggabriellechristiansenn
Vinyl LP "staff picks" selections for Spring 2020: Tito Puente - Let's Cha Cha with Tito Puente and Roger Williams - In a Latin Mood: Amor


Christina Stavros, Curatorial Assistant (2019-2020)
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for fall 2019: The Beatles - Sg. Pepper. and Ray Charles - The Genius Hits the Road


Portrait of Angelina watching Roger Brown's television

Angelina Almukhametova, Curatorial Assistant (2018-2020)
Having always been drawn to collecting various trinkets and antiques, I have a deep fascination for Roger Brown’s collection. Every day at work is a learning experience; there isn’t a single day that I don’t notice a new object in the space. At the Roger Brown Study Collection, I have been working on digitizing the artist’s vinyl record collection. It’s amusing to draw connections between the records and Roger Brown’s life and work, as well as those that interweave the collection. I am currently in my third year of undergrad at SAIC. My experience with Roger Brown’s collection has motivated new branches in my writing work. 
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for spring 2019: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears - The Mama's and The Papa's and The Mills Brothers Great Hits


Portrait of Cat in front of Christina Ramberg Painting

Catherine Rose Lamendola, Curatorial Assistant (2017 - 2020)
Bio: I’m a dual degree MA student who came to the RBSC in 2017 through my love of vernacular artists and nontraditional art spaces. My focus at the collection is in examining the ecosystem created by site-specific objects, and connecting Roger Brown to Chicago’s history of self-taught art. More broadly, I’m interested in archival management, artist-built environments, and museum workers rights. Before coming to SAIC, I received my BA in Art History from McGill University, and spent time in my hometown of Dallas, Texas.
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for fall 2019: Pointer Sisters - Energy and Sarah Vaughan - The Magic of Sarah Vaughan
Links and contact: clamen@saic.edu | instagram.com/stecatherine


Xinran Liu, Curatorial Assistant (2019-2020)


Julie Stopper, Curatorial Assistant (2019 - 2020)
Bio: As an aspiring educator, I find conversations with students to be the most enriching aspect of my time at the RBSC. I am always curious about the experiential knowledge of the individual and I aim to facilitate discussion that engages history as well as reflects on the intersection of the identity politics of the maker, the collector, and the viewer. I feel a responsibility to myself, to the collection, and to our society to facilitate conversations that are most difficult in hopes that we may all learn through listening to each other’s perspectives and move forward as a healthier and more inclusive community.


Lauren Couey, Curatorial Assistant (2019)
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for fall 2019: Blood, Sweat & Tears - Greatest Hits and Jerry Jerome and His Group - Bright and Bouncy Hi Fi Dance Music


Portrait of Taylor using Roger Brown's phone

Taylor Morgan, Curatorial Assistant (2018 - 2019)

Bio: I am a senior in the BFA program at SAIC, in the painting and drawing department. A visit to the RBSC was one of my first class trips in the beginning of my freshman year and its been fascinating to learn some of the ins and outs of the historic preservation process. As a painter and 20th century print/illustration collector myself, I'm very inspired by the historic narrative of objects and images here. I have been scanning and archiving a wide variety Roger Browns's photographs and have learned a lot about Roger, and my abilities as an amateur sleuth. 
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for spring 2019: Blue - Joni Mitchell, Honky Chateau - Elton John


Portrait of Alessandra posing with Mexican wooden skeleton sculpture

Alessandra Norman, Curatorial Assistant (2017 - 2019)

As someone who maintains their own collection – my partner and I have over 100 cacti and other xerophytic plants – I find working at RBSC fascinating for a variety of reasons. I’m interested in Roger’s collecting practice and how both objects and his collecting proclivities inform and surface in his work. Spending a lot of time here has afforded me the opportunity for extended reflection on various objects in the collection, to think about an object’s cultural context, individual history, and how an object’s position in the collection can be as significant as the object itself. This has been a special experience that has expanded my own practice and greatly enriched my time as a graduate student at SAIC.
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for spring 2019: The Fantastic Guitars of Sabicas Escudero, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Links: alessandranorman.com | instagram.com/nasa_giftshop


Portrait of Jeremy near Joseph Yoakum drawings

Jeremy Marcelino Sublewski, Curatorial Assistant (2018 - 2019)
Bio: I am a fourth year undergrad student at SAIC. My work at the Roger Brown Study Collection is motivated by my interest in the home as a sacred place of discovery and creation. I am interested in the collection as an educational resource that allows students to engage critically with cultural artifacts (Western and Non-Western) whose functions and significance changes with time and its location or dislocation. 
Link: jeremysublewski.com
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for spring 2019: Blood, Sweat & Tears Greatest Hits - Blood Sweat and Tears, Music of the Liturgy in English - Joint Commission of Church Music



Portrait of Carolina in Roger Brown's den

Carolina Valeria Velez, Curatorial Assistant (2017 - 2019)
Bio: I started working in the Roger Brown Study Collection during my third year of undergrad after several visits during my first years at SAIC. I’m now in my last semester in the Bachelor of Fine Arts and have focused on weaving and painting. While in the collection, I constantly think about all the cultures and subcultures represented and what it means to have objects from them, both as a personal artist collection and as a house museum. I’m also interested in how the collection reflects both Roger’s individuality as well as his place in society.
Vinyl LP “staff picks” selections for spring 2019: King of Ragtime - Johnny Maddox, Bookends - Simon and Garfunkel
Links: carolinavelezmuniz.com | instagram.com/sijayesouinaam