consultant biography

Susan Hanson

Dr. Susan Atherton Hanson created History Behind the Scenes in 2001 to provide customized consulting services to history museums, historic sites and cultural institutions.  Dr. Hanson, who holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland/College Park, has thirty years of experience in the history museum field. She launched her career at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. Dr. Hanson established the living history, education and collections management programs at Meadow Farm Museum and served as History and Historic Preservation Programs Supervisor in Henrico County, VA.

She worked as Director of Museum Operations and Acting Executive Director at the Frontier Culture of Virginia in Staunton, VA, Assistant Director of the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond, TX, Director of the French Legation Museum in Austin, TX and served as President of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums [ALHFAM]. Dr. Hanson’s project experience includes the interpretive master plans for  Texas Historical Commission sites ( Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall Texas and the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site in Denison, Texas), the master plan for the Irish Village, an emerging living history village in East Durham, NY, an interpretive plan for a 1900 farmhouse at Howell Living History Farm in Titusville, NJ, docent manual and other interpretive materials for Floyd Lamb Park/ Tule Springs Historic Area in Las Vegas, NV and three entries written for The World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of Material Culture of Slaves in the United States published by Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, Inc. in 2011. (see resume)