Four questions for James Archer Abbott, director and curator of Evergreen Museum & Library

1. What's at the top of your to-do list?

An illustrated book on JHU's Evergreen Museum & Library, which I am co-authoring—one that celebrates the institution's rich, multidimensional collections and which will be published in 2015.

James Archer Abbott

Image caption: James Archer Abbott

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

2. What keeps you up at night?

Sometimes, the future of museums—and their place in a fast-paced world of seemingly limited attention spans. Art is so important, but our time to interact with same is becoming less and less. To pause … to see … to engage … to appreciate ... where do these acts fit in our current everyday lives, let alone in the future? Other times, it is a museum experience—and specifically, the pleasure of same—that allows me to sleep.

3. What's in store 10 years from now?

A further expansion of Evergreen's engagement of both students and faculty, which will include more guest-curating opportunities, more exhibitions of student- and faculty-created works, and the hosting of more museum-based course sessions.

4. Tell me something I don't know about Johns Hopkins.

On working late, one can occasionally hear voices—laughter, low conversation—in the otherwise very empty rooms of Evergreen. Or so I am told.