Who We Are
Muse Curatorial Consulting Group (MCCG) seeks to be your Muse. Your protector for all things supporting collection care. MCCG understands that an organization’s public or private collection is the heart and inspiration of its mission, and needs to be cared for accordingly.
Our mission is to guide each client in the preservation, curation and respectful care of historic and cultural ethnographic, archaeological, and archival collections, and fine art.
Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy created MCCG to help collectors of all sizes preserve, conserve and document collections for posterity. As co-founders, Melanie and Karen are dedicated to providing their clients with the tools necessary to achieve this goal. MCCG has team members across the country ready to help you with all of your collection needs.
Co-Founder & Cultural Object Preservationist
Prior to MCCG, Melanie worked in the Curatorial Department of the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) for seven years helping in the preservation of the Museum’s 100,000+ ethnographic, archaeological and archival objects. Some of her many responsibilities included conservation and rehousing work on objects; monitoring environmental conditions; cataloging and inventory; assisting in the creation of object handling procedures; monitoring the installation and de-installation of objects within exhibits; writing condition reports, and training volunteers and interns. She has also conducted in-depth historical research on many collections within the Museum and within the community.
mdellas [at] musecuratorial [dot] com
Melanie has co-curated the Our City, Our Neighborhoods exhibit for the San Diego History Center, and co-curated Monsters! for the SDMoM. For both exhibits, Melanie helped create the exhibit storylines and content; conducted in-depth research, chose the objects and ephemera to be displayed, and wrote labels for the objects. For Our City, Melanie was also responsible for budget creation and implementation.
Melanie is also an experienced grant writer for the nonprofit community, author, and magazine editor and publisher. She has written three books in her Fantastic, Fabulous Creatures & Beasts series, which gives readers an inside look into mythological creatures from cultures around the world. She has also co-authored a book with her oldest son titled, Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake...We Made A Mistake! Her two magazines, Native American Casino and San Diego Performer, were in circulation for 10 years, collectively. Native American Casino received the Gaming Voice Award – Best Publication from the American Gaming Association and the Gold Ink Award for Best Cover Design. Melanie has also been published in the San Diego Business Journal’s Top 50 Women Business Owners.
Melanie is an Associate Member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, Chair of Convivio’s Italian Heritage Commission, board member of the Little Italy Association, and past-president of Schola Antiquorum, the Ancient History University. She graduated with honors from the University of San Diego with an MA in History, and from Purdue University with a BA in Professional Writing and Editing. She has also studied at the Northern States Conservation Center.
klacy [at] musecuratorial [dot] com
Co-Founder & Cultural Object Preservationist
Karen Lacy has over 18 years of museum and writing experience as well as a Master’s degree in Museum Science, a Master's degree in Anthropology, and a Bachelor’s in History with minors in Art History and Anthropology. Throughout her career, she has strived to combine her love of anthropology, history, collection care, and teaching. She has worked, volunteered, and interned at a number of museums including history, art, science/technology, and anthropology museums.
Prior to MCCG, Karen was the Collections Manager for the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM). Her duties included care of the artifact collections, research and development of exhibits, pest management, environmental monitoring, and aiding the curatorial department in keeping with national AAM/ICOM standards. A large part of her duties included working directly with interns and volunteers, training them on various project tasks. She also worked heavily with the archaeological collection, performing site record searches and artifact access for local Cultural Resource Management firms and local Native American bands/tribes.
This position enabled her to work with people and ethnographic collections from all over the world, such as Alebrijes and Mata Ortiz pottery from Mexico, and textiles from Guatemala, as well as numerous objects from ancient Egypt and South America. Additionally, she attended meetings on behalf of the curatorial department with special events and exhibits, updated the employee handbook, co-authored the volunteer handbook, as well as co-curated an exhibit on Monsters! Since 1999, Karen has participated in annual excavations with various universities and the Texas Archaeological Society, working with volunteers at various experience levels. Prior to working at SDMoM, she curated a number of exhibits including the Women of Flight, Amelia Earhart and a traveling exhibit SPAFF, the South Plains Army Airfield.
Karen believes the best way to care for collections is continuing education in the museum and anthropological professions by being a board member of the San Diego County Archaeological Society (SDCAS), attending classes at the Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC), and various other workshops on collection care. She is constantly familiarizing herself with new tools and techniques including several collections management databases such as Collections Space, PastPerfect, EmbARK, Re:discovery, Microsoft Access, and FileMakerPro.
Beyond her MCCG duties, Karen loves teaching. She is currently an ESL teacher through an online platform and is an Adjunct Lecturer of Anthropology at the San Diego City College. She has also become a coordinator for the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program in which two-day workshops are conducted and led by Karen. Through this program she is training new site stewards to help protect cultural resources throughout California. She is also a member of the Texas Archaeological Society and the Society for California Archaeology. Recently, Karen was approved to become a Peer Reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums to conduct site visits for MAP: Collections Stewardship Assessment and Accreditation.
Join Our Team
MCCG is also made up of experienced, independent museum consultants across the country. We offer distinct advantages to museums, cultural organizations and private collectors:
No matter what state you are in, we can provide Archival, Collections, Registration and Exhibit Design expertise
Grant Writing, Training, Conservation/Preservation work is just a phone call away!
MCCG team members have their own consulting practices, but we collaborate on projects that call for varied expertise and will find the right fit for you.
Email us today!
mdellas [at] musecuratorial [dot] com or klacy [at] musecuratorial [dot] com or call (800) 715-8804.