NKU Anthropology Museum Attempts to Gain Importance


The Anthropology Museum has been at NKU since 1976. Yet, very few of are aware of its existence.

Dr. Judy Voelker manages the small exhibit room, located in Landrum, which collects and displays hundreds of artifacts. Housing both art and cultural pieces from around the world, the museum also aims to teach.

Museum Intern, Kirstie Dannen, plans to curate her own museum similar to NKU’s anthropology exhibition someday.

“Anthropology lets me learn about others with different cultures from my own, and allows me to understand where their culture comes from,” said Dannen.

Voelker also agreed that in a global society, we need to understand other cultures.

Diversity also exists among the artifacts. Over 200 artifacts are on display at the museum.

The collection contains pieces from all over the world, including Mexican pottery, Native American quilts, Siamese masks and Guinean Tribal heads.

Some are as old as 4000 years old, while some are replicas created by modern artists and sculptors.

Each one represents a certain aspect of some culture and has its own story; a story Dr. Voelker believes needs to be told. She has spent decades buying and collecting each piece in order to achieve this goal. Some were dug up locally and some were donated from collectors worldwide.

Voelker has also bought many of the pieces form a variety of sources throughout the world. She takes great pride in Thai relics. She has led five digging trips to Thailand and collected ceremonial hats as well as dug up artifacts.

“I’m a really big fan of the Northwest Coast artifacts, but all the African and Mexican that we have I really enjoy too,” she says.

Sam Roberts