Karen Collins, artist and executive director of the African American Miniature Museum, will be featured in the first of the UNM Maxwell Museum of Anthropology’s public events of 2022 on Saturday, Feb. 26, at noon. The museum billed the online event as We Come from Strong People: A Chat with Karen Collins. The event will be in honor of Black History Month. 

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom meeting. The event is free and family friendly.


Collins is a self-taught “miniaturist”— a creator of small objects — whose artwork consists of dioramas depicting historical events and people in the Black community. For the last 24 years, she has worked to bring clarity and vibrance in the telling of history and contribute to her community’s knowledge of self. To date, she has created more than 50 dioramas and has taken her museum to dozens of K-12 classrooms.

Her work has been featured as a 2020 Google Doodle commemorating the 60th anniversary of the “Greensboro Sit-in” and in a 2019 Atlas Obscura documentary. More recently, she was commissioned by the Autry Museum of the American West to create dioramas for the museum’s permanent collection, including one titled “Black Cowboys.”

After an introduction by museum staff, Collins will talk about the story and mission of her museum, her creative process, and educational legacy. Participants will then have a chance to ask questions and learn about key events and people through a selection of artwork. 

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at UNM works toward greater understandings of the fullness of human experiences in the Southwest and the world. Its staff is committed to reconciling injustices, restoring voices, and realizing community.