Brenda Cowan


Brenda Cowan is a Professor and former Chairperson of Graduate Exhibition & Experience Design at the SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she instructs in areas including exhibition development and evaluation; object and museum studies; research methodologies and audience studies. Her background includes work for museums and design firms in the roles of interpreter, exhibition developer, education director, evaluator, and project manager. Brenda is a Fulbright Scholar in the disciplines of museums, objects and mental health. Her theory of Psychotherapeutic Object Dynamics has been presented for the American Alliance of Museums; Museums of Hope; MidAtlantic Association of Museums; National Museums of World Culture, Sweden; and published with the National Association for Museum Exhibition; Society for Environmental Graphic Design; O Magazine; and Huffington Post Science. Her most recent book is Museum Objects, Health and Healing: The Relationship between Exhibitions and Wellness published by Routledge Taylor & Francis. Brenda’s recent work includes evaluating wellbeing and healing in an exhibition at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, with Syrian refugees and immigrants. She is currently co-host of a podcast about design and museum experiences titled Matters of Experience, and is co-editing a volume on the subject of flourishing in museums.

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