Hank grasso, B.A.

Hannk GrassoHank has enjoyed a life-long fascination with social and cultural history, and has spent his career creating museum environments that represent cultural communities and give a voice to important but lesser-known historical narratives.  But more than museum exhibitions, Hank regards his work as educational initiatives—opportunities for experts to convey their messages and insights to a broad array of target audiences.  His museum exhibitions, which are often accompanied by outreach media and publications, are the products of collaborative story development and design processes with researchers.

Hank’s portfolio speaks to his professional accomplishments. As a senior exhibition designer at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, his exhibits provided a forum for the voices of Native American, African American, Hispanic and Deaf communities.  As principal of his own small museum design firm, he and his staff created Rock’n’Soul: Social Crossroads, the inaugural exhibition of the Memphis Rock’n’Soul Museum, and a traveling exhibitionfor Gallaudet University, entitled History Through Deaf Eyes.  Hank’s skills have benefited from the guidance of many mentors in a broad array of institutions and design firms.  In the way of formal study, he completed a BA that combined the studies of Forest Products and Fine Art at Pennsylvania State University.  In addition, he studied Industrial Design at Pratt Institute, as well as Film and Video Production at American University’s School of Communication

Hank joined the staff of the DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Museum of Medical Research in August 2009, where he is eager to cultivate a better understanding of the NIH—its histories, investigators, innovations, languages, practices and technologies—among audiences both within and outside this community of scientists.

Collaborative Projects:
Saving Golden Lion Tamarins (temporary exhibition, oral history collection)
Design Division: Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park

Rock’n’Soul: Social Crossroads (inaugural exhibition, films)
Client: Memphis Museum of Rock’n’Soul

History Through Deaf Eyes (traveling exhibition, oral history collection)
Client: Gallaudet University

How We Discover (NSF proposal—scale models, fabrication budgets)
Client: Smithsonian Institution

American Encounters (permanent exhibition)
Design Division: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

top of page

Office of History and Stetten Museum| Bldg 60 | Suite 230 | National Institutes of Health | Bethesda, MD 20814-1460
Phone: 301.496.6610 | Email: history@nih.gov
Freedom of Information Act

Last updated: 1 November 2012
First published: 2 February 2005
Permanence level
Permanent: Dynamic Content