Leslie BEDFORD - Tokyo College
Tokyo College Professor


Research interests Museum, Museum Experience Period of stay April 1, 2024 - May 10, 2024
01 Description of Research

Her current research interests include: The importance of the somatic in the museum experience. What neuroscience can contribute to understanding the visitor experience? If/how can museums design experiences that might create feelings of empathy and commonality in diversity.

02 Short Biography

Former professor of Museum Education, museum practitioner, consultant, and writer, Leslie Bedford is the author of The Art of Museum Exhibitions: How Story and Imagination Create Aesthetic Experiences. She is a member of the Museum Group, an association of independent senior professionals. She worked with the Smithsonian Institution on professional development for staff in Oman and The United Arab Republic, a start-up children’s museum in Israel, an Argentine arts foundation and numerous American museums. She developed numerous exhibitions including Teen Tokyo for the Children’s Museum, Boston and Choosing to Participate for Facing History and Ourselves, and taught/lectured at the Fashion Institute of Technology, University of San Francisco, University of the Arts,  museums in Madrid, The Hague,  Puerto Rico, Abu Dhabi and the United States. She is a former director, master’s Program in Leadership in Museum Education, Bank Street Graduate School of Education, Associate Director, Brooklyn Historical Society, Director and Curator, Comprehensive Japan Program, Boston Children’s Museum.

Education and Honors

Vassar College, B.A

Harvard Graduate School of Education, M.A.T.

Union Institute and University, Ph.D., interdisciplinary doctorate in Museum Studies

Senior Fulbright Research Fellow, Argentina

Senior Fulbright Research Fellow, Japan

Residential Fellow, The Getty Center, Los Angeles

Japan Society of Boston, John D. Thayer III Award for Significant Contribution to the Advancement of US-Japan Friendship.

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

2023   “Different but Same,” in Flourishing in Museums: Toward a Positive Museology

2014  The Art of Museum Exhibitions: How Story and Imagination Create Aesthetic Experiences.

2012  “Musing about Museums and Time” Curator 55.4 October 2012

2009  “Finding the Story in History” in Connecting Kids to History with Museum Exhibitions