Heather Hope Kuruvilla, M.A., J.D., is a museum professional with special interests in the areas of intellectual property, museum administration, board fiduciary responsibility, community development and engagement, and the ethical and thoughtful approach to necessary deaccessioning. She studied museum registration at Seton Hall University, where she attained a Master of Arts with Distinction. She holds a Certificate in Intellectual Property: Art & Museum Law from DePaul University College of Law. Her past research interests include the intersection of ethics and the law in museum deaccessioning and the impact of the Visual Artists Rights Act on museums. In 2011, the Journal of Art, Technology & Intellectual Property (v.22) published her seminar article on museums deaccessioning. Additionally, that article received honorable mention in the 2011 Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation student writing competition.
Upon graduation, Heather clerked for the Honorable Melvin Gelade of the New Jersey Superior Court. Her first book, A Legal Dictionary for Museum Professionals, is available from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
The past Interim Director of the Meadowlands Museum (Rutherford, NJ), Heather now lives in Berks County, PA, with her husband and daughter. She teaches in the M.A. Art Administration program, Department of Art Education and Crafts, at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. When she is not writing or consulting, Heather enjoys reading, traveling, crochet and cross-stitch, and tending to her ever-expanding home vegetable garden.
- J.D., DePaul University
- M.A., Seton Hall University
- B.A., Rutgers University
- “Deaccessioning: Challenges for Museums in Ethics and Law” panel, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) Annual Meeting, Wilmington, DE, October 21, 2016, with Carrie Villar and Sally Yerkovich.
- “Deaccessioning 101” panel, Building a Place for History: 2016 New Jersey History and Historic Preservation Conference, South Orange, NJ, June 9, 2016, with Briann Greenfield and Sally Yerkovich.
- A Legal Dictionary for Museum Professionals, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016.
- Evelyn Danzig Haas ’39 Visiting Artists Program, Wheaton College, Norton, Mass., Fall 2015
- “Intellectual Property for the Museum Professional,” ARTH230: Introduction to Museum Studies, Prof. Leah Niederstadt.
- “From Stolen Art to Selling Art: Contemporary Challenges in Museum Ethics,” with Sally Yerkovich.
- "All In a Day’s Work: How Museums May Approach Deaccessioning as a Necessary Collections Management Tool", 22 DePaul J. Art, Tech. & Intell. Prop. L. 119 (2011) (as Heather Hope Stephens).
- Cited by Dick Poole, past non-trustee member of the Delaware Art Museum’s Collections Committee, in his opinion piece “Please, Don’t Sell Delaware Museum’s Art Treasures,” delawareonline.com, April 28, 2014.
- "The Art of Taxing and the Encouragement of Giving: The Artist-Museum Partnership Act as a Vehicle to Increase Museum Support", unpublished, 2010.
- “Walking the Wire: Balancing Moral Rights and the Artist’s Vision after VARA,” Institute of Museum Ethics, “New Directions in Museum Ethics” Conference, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, November 14, 2009 (as Heather Hope Stephens).
- "Visualizing the Path Forward: The Visual Artist Rights Act of 1990 and Recommendations for a Response by American Museums", Masters thesis, Seton Hall University, 2008 (as Heather Hope Stephens).
- “Person of the Year: the Meadowlands Museum,” South Bergenite newspaper, 2014
- Commendation, Rutherford (NJ) Mayor & Council, 2014
- DePaul University College of Law, Faculty/Staff Endowed Scholarship, 2011
- Honorable mention, Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation Student Writing Competition, 2011
- Faculty/Staff Endowed Scholarship, DePaul University College of Law, 2011
- CALI Award for Excellence in Senior Research Seminar: Cultural Property, Spring 2011
- CALI Award for Excellence in Civil Procedure, Spring 2009
- Art Law Award, DePaul Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, 2010
- Bernard B. and Gloria L. Rinella Endowed Scholarship 2010
- DePaul University College of Law, Academic Merit Scholarship: 2008, 2009, and 2010
- Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholar, since 2008
- James Dickson Carr Scholar, Rutgers University, 1996