November 29, 2013

5 Questions: Jana Machin

We’re taking our Five Questions series around the office and finding out more about SFMOMA staff members and what’s changed for them now that we’re under construction. Today we’re talking to Jana Machin, director of SFMOMA’s MuseumStore, in the store’s temporary location on Yerba Buena Lane, where it will be until our building reopens.


Please describe your job in three sentences or less:

My job is to work with our buyers to find terrific contemporary products for retail and to lead the MuseumStore team in providing great customer service and in maintaining a beautiful space. I also work with our curators and buyers on special exhibition products and books that extend the mission of the museum to the store experience.

What are you thinking about now that you weren’t thinking about before the museum closed?

I’m really starting to think about the remodel of the main store, as well as the design and construction of the store that will be on the second floor of the new building. We are starting to think specifically about not only the design of those stores but also about what kinds of product development we can do related to the new architecture, to the Fisher Collection, and to the exciting new things that we have coming when the museum reopens in 2016.

Do you collect anything?

Actually I do. I have a huge collection of vintage pottery. I have lots of shelves and it’s all on display at our house. I don’t collect much anymore because I found that the fun of collecting is in the hunt more than in the owning. And because I’m out of room!

If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

This is going to make me cry. For me it would be my dad. He was an all-around great guy. A small-town man who loved the people in the town, loved his family, loved sports, and was a great, friendly, outgoing person. That’s who I would spend my time with.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have in your home, what would it be?

It would be one of Mark Bradford’s pieces. I can’t tell you which one specifically, but I loved his show at SFMOMA last year. I thought the way he incorporated the end papers used in perms from his mother’s salon into his work in the early 2000s was brilliant and interesting. I met him after the talk he gave at the museum and I found him to be such a delightful person. I really enjoy his personality and his work.

If you weren’t running the SFMOMA MuseumStore what would your gig be?

I’ve always had a passion for country-western music and I used to believe that if I worked on it I could be a really good country-western songwriter. So, that would be an option. Or I might do something related to dog rescue—that’s another one of my passions and something I really believe in.

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