The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 17, 2017


From CIA analyst to beer historian: the heady resume of Theresa McCulla
Theresa McCulla, the new "Beer Historian" at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, stands in front of the Food History exhibit entrance April 18, 2017, that will soon have a new exhibit area inside dedicated to beer brewing in US history. PAUL J. RICHARDS / AFP.

by Shahzad Abdul


WASHINGTON (AFP).- She started her career in the shadows working for the CIA, but a historian at a prestigious Washington museum has been thrust into the limelight after the American press dubbed her job researching beer the "coolest in the world."

Theresa McCulla, 34, emerged from anonymity in January to be hired by the National Museum of American History as its brewing historian.

As a woman catapulted into an ultra-masculine, multi-billion-dollar industry, McCulla has had to work hard to prove her credibility.

"It is absolutely a cool job," she told AFP, but "there's been a sense that you really have to convince people that it's serious. People say it's a fun job. It is a fun job, but it's also a lot of work."

McCulla -- who proudly identifies as feminist -- is from a middle-class family in the eastern state of Virginia, and inherited her passion for beer from her father, an enthusiastic home brewer.

Growing up in her rural home in the 1980s, as the US began to discover microbreweries and craft beer, she says it was impossible to take a shower as the cubicle was always filled with "fermenting beer."

She and her siblings had the job of capping the beer bottles. "It was a lot of overwhelming aromas for a seven- or eight-year-old," she adds.

Tailor-made job
The family is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the unofficial capital of American beer since the 19th century, when a wave of German immigrants arrived in the city on the shores of Lake Michigan.

But it was as a university student in the same state that beer really began to interest her. Before long though, she was off to Harvard for a Master's degree in languages, including French, and in 2004 she bagged a job with the CIA as a European media analyst.

"While I was there I became interested in working in food. I wanted to do something more creative. I wanted to get out of a boxed-in environment," she explains.

After three years, McCulla left US intelligence to devote herself to her passion, and in May she received a doctorate from Harvard, having specialized in the culinary traditions of New Orleans.

Then last July she -- along with the nation's media -- spotted the unusual job offer at the museum.

The PR team there jokes that the position could have been tailor-made for her.

Three months after taking up the job, she has begun to criss-cross America, helping to build an archive for the museum on the history of beer.

Part of everyday life
For the moment, it's the West Coast that has her attention.

Before a trip to Colorado in early May, she went for a few pints in northern California with the founders of the craft brewing movement.

McCulla sees in California the new American El Dorado of beer, modeled on what that state's Napa Valley has become to wine. The winemakers of the region have even lent brewers some of their equipment.

McCulla thinks the National Museum of American History has done well in documenting the history of food and wine, "but beer is overdue to have its space physically and in the collections."

Beer and its history have been such a large part of everyday American life, she tells AFP, that it can "allow (us) to ask questions about immigration, labor, consumer taste, advertising... You can look at any era of history and use beer as an engaging lens to look into it."

Although the trend in the United States is clearly toward craft breweries, the market is still small compared to giants like multinational brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (makers of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois), which accounts for almost half of total beer sales in the US, according to Nielsen data.

But with small, independent brewers seemingly opening on every street corner, the market may have radically shifted by the time her three-year mission at the museum draws to an end.

"Gosh," she says, contemplating the task ahead. "It could be a lifetime project."


© Agence France-Presse






Today's News

June 5, 2017

Exhibition at MKG Hamburg brings together over 100 posters by Keith Haring

Auction house pulls 'stolen' leaders' autographs from Spain sale

Sotheby's sale offers a journey through British art

Exhibition looks at Picasso's experimentation and collaboration in printmaking

The British Museum brings the works of Hokusai to the big screen

15 designers dominate demand and dollars for vintage furniture

From CIA analyst to beer historian: the heady resume of Theresa McCulla

Mondrian Restoration Project leads to 'The Discovery of Mondrian'

50th anniversary of 'The Summer of Love' rolls out music rarities at Heritage Auctions

Linda Pace Foundation announces groundbreaking of new exhibition space designed by Sir David Adjaye

Anna Laudel Contemporary exhibits works by Fernando Botero

Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo dies, aged 86

Japanese ceramic sculptor Shozo Michikawa opens exhibition at Lacoste Gallery

Nationalmuseum in Stockholm will be supported by a new American Friends Foundation

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art presents Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest

Hall of Fame sportswriter Bill Madden's lifetime memorabilia collection to be auctioned

Cristin Tierney Gallery opens exhibition of new and recent works by Francisco Ugarte

Julie Saul Gallery exhibits complete series of fifty-seven paintings by Maira Kalman

Pen and ink drawings attributed to van Gogh will headline Woodshed's June 21st art auction

Spink to offer a 1776 pewter Continental Dollar

Museum presents exhibition featuring transformations in book publishing, 1860-1920

Exhibition at MCA Denver surveys the past 10 years of Jenny Morgan's painting career

The FLAG Art Foundation exhibits new paintings and small-scale sculptures by Rebecca Ward

Tidalectics: TBA21-Academy's first exhibition opens at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Basquiat: A darling of pop culture, but not museums

2.- Edward Hopper House unveils new collection of the American artist's early years and memorabilia

3.- Alice Cooper finds precious Warhol work in storage

4.- Evidence of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem found at the City of David

5.- Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibits masterpieces by painter Cristóbal de Villalpando

6.- Exhibition on Screen to open its fifth season with Canaletto & the Art of Venice

7.- Gifts to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II go on display at Buckingham Palace

8.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens first-ever museum exhibition of Amanda Williams

9.- Exhibition details how Israel's Mossad tracked down and captured Adolf Eichmann

10.- Extraordinary embroidery: Hidden histories of ordinary girls revealed through their sewing



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful