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Kauffman Museum selects new director

November 6th, 2018

Michael Reinschmidt

Michael Reinschmidt, Ph.D., has been named director of Kauffman Museum at Bethel College, to begin his duties Dec. 1.

Reinschmidt brings a range of international experience to his new position. He earned a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology and American literature from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

He comes to Bethel from southern Arizona (currently residing in Oklahoma City), where he spent almost seven years as administrator of the Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum west of Tucson.

Other positions have included teaching anthropology and museum studies at California State University in Fullerton and Chico for five years, at Chonbuk National and Inje Universities in South Korea for three, and at Arizona State University for one.

While in Korea, he led exhibition field research during several summers for the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. In museum positions proper, he served as curator at the Korean American National Museum in Los Angeles and as registrar at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Reinschmidt is a two-time recipient of research fellowships from the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and successfully wrote major grants for museums he served from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts, among many other awards from public and private foundations, donors, corporations and international research foundations.

“As the new director, I will pay attention to learning and internalizing Kauffman Museum’s cultural contexts, and how we can come together as learners and visionaries to expand the museum in its proven capacity to preserve, teach and inspire,” Reinschmidt said.

He added, “I love good music, literature, art, food, indie movies and documentary films. I also try hard to swim, bike, run, dance and travel as often as possible.”

Reinschmidt will oversee all Kauffman Museum operations. He follows interim director Linda Rostine Schmitt and replaces Annette LeZotte, who served as director from 2014-17.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the current special exhibit, “Better Choose Me: Collecting and Creating with Tobacco Fabric Novelties, 1880-1920,” along with the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website,, or Facebook page.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.