Ellen Owens

MA '06

Museum Studies (MA, MFA)

Ellen Owens MA '06 (Museum Education) is the Merle-Smith director of Learning Programs at the Penn Museum, the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In that role, she supervises all of the Museum’s K-12 education and teacher initiatives, oversees key department interpretive programs - hands-on workshops, tours, classroom speakers - and provides strategic vision and direction for the Museum’s future interpretive initiatives.

Ellen was formerly the executive director of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a folk art environment, gallery space and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar. Located at the site of Zagar's largest public mosaic installation, the Magic Gardens includes a fully mosaiced indoor gallery and a massive outdoor labyrinthine mosaic sculpture.

She was also previously the museum education program manager at the American Philosophical Society, and is a faculty member in UArts' Museum Studies program. She has served as vice president for membership at the Museum Council of Philadelphia and is a board member of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia.

In addition to her MA degree from UArts, Ellen holds a BS in Art Education: Museum and Cultural Institutions and a BFA in Studio Art: Painting and Drawing, both from the Pennsylvania State University.