New Hire: Emily Davis


Emily Davis, taking a spin in the backyard with her pet chicken, in Alameda, New Mexico, circa 1985.

What is your official title, and what are some of your general responsibilities?

My official title is Senior Research Associate for the Time-Based Media Collection. I am working on an exciting multi-faceted project funded by the A.W. Mellon Foundation. One of my main responsibilities is to ensure the long-term sustainability and accessibility of the museum’s time-based media collection, which includes film, video, audio, and software-based artworks. To do this I am assessing the preservation needs of the holdings, determining what works need and can be migrated to digital formats, working with the artists, galleries, and estates to migrate the work according to best practices, and updating the collection records to document the preservation work. I will also be working with the new archival assistant to arrange and describe the related archival materials in  order to gather more information about the collection and make it accessible to staff and researchers.

What were you doing before joining us at CMOA? 

Prior to the CMOA I was working on a multi-year grant funded project to preserve, digitize, and exhibit the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

What’s your favorite exhibition that you saw this past year (at any museum/event)?

I really loved the James Turrell exhibition at the Guggenheim last summer.

If you could steal one artwork from our collection, what would it be?

Currently, I really love After a Flash Flood, Rancho Mirage, California, 1979 by Joel Sternfeld. I love Sternfeld’s work, but I had never seen this photo before, it’s pretty great.

Five things you can’t live without?

Mac and cheese, ice cream, friends who make me laugh, soul music, and sunshine.

Describe Pittsburgh in five words or less.

Not a secret anymore.

Favorite hobbies? Or any other projects you’d like to share?

I love cooking, pickling, fermenting, crafting, writing correspondence on handmade cards, biking, and working in my vegetable garden.