Amherst Alumni in the Field: Kirk Johnson '82

February 5, 2018

“Museums are warehouses of our culture’s knowledge.”

Museums are warehouses of our culture's knowledge

From the time he used to sneak into the Pratt Museum late at night to catalog fossils, Kirk Johnson ’82 has always seen the importance of preserving history in three-dimensional form. Now as the Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where he is responsible for a collection of more than 145 million objects, Johnson sees more value in cataloguing natural history than ever before. Then, as now, Johnson believes that the true value of museums is in sharing, not only an understanding of the history of the planet and of humans, but of how the two interact.