Guest Curators

We want to say thank you to our outgoing Guest Curator, Laura Ruberto! If you missed a chance to see her fantastic artifacts, please stop by the Guest Curator Archive Page. You can also examine all of our past Guest Curator’s as well.

Welcome to our Guest Curator, Joseph Sciorra!

As a folklorist with a background in anthropology and art history, I have long documented and researched various aspects of material culture, in particular the aesthetics of the everyday. Working primarily in New York City, I have been interested in needlework, Catholic folk art, vernacular architecture, monuments, museums, and the built landscape in general. I am curious about the makers’ lives, training, beliefs, and execution. I am particularly interested in how objects become imbued with meaning and sentiment, hold memories, and are made to speak (or not) to people.

In my work as a director at Queens College’s John D. Calandra Italian American Institute I have focused on Italian American vernacular culture, researching and publishing, curating exhibitions, and organizing public programing. In 2018, I donated my collection of thirty years’ worth of original research materials—some of which involve artists featured here—to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

American Folklife Center  

If you are a folklorist or a collector of folklore/popular culture artifacts, please consider becoming a Guest Curator. Your objects will be highlighted here on a rotating basis.

All we ask is that the objects be yours, you have a photograph of the objects, and all or most of the information about the object (see the guidelines below, for more details).

Guest Curator Guidelines:

1. Artifacts must fall within the subject of our website (folklore, folk art, popular culture, etc).

2. Artifacts must be a part of your own personal collection.

3. Submissions must be limited to no more than five artifacts.

4. Submissions must contain a photograph of the artifact, as well as the title, purpose, country of origin, culture , materials, and dimensions of the artifact.

5. We also would like your photograph and a brief biography to accompany the collection.

Please contact, and write Guest Curator in the subject line for further information or with any questions. We cannot wait to highlight your collection!