Growing up in the Philadelphia area and visiting the Philadelphia Art Museum, Gin always wanted to be a docent. Her childhood dream came true when she became a volunteer docent at the Saint Louis Art Museum in 1988. She was also a docent at the Pulitzer Foundation of the Arts and the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis.
In her devotion to aid and support volunteers everywhere, she not only became a president for the NDSC, she was president of many other wonderful volunteer organizations and still is for several. Some of them are: American Association of Museum Volunteers (AAMV), the Museum Docent Education Association (MDEA), and the Docent Council of Metropolitan Saint Louis.
Ms. Wachter has also chaired sessions and was a speaker at American Alliance of Museums’ Conferences (AAM) every year between 2003 and 2011. She has helped museums in New Orleans and NYC, presented workshops at the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM) conferences, was a guest speaker at a Volunteer Committees of Art Museums (VCAM) conference and is always available to help local museums. For all she has done for the community, Gin was chosen to receive a 2009 Women of Achievement Award, in Saint Louis.
My Connection with the NDSC
Most of the accomplishments that Gin did center around two Organizations that she dearly loves: The Saint Louis Art Museum and the National Docent Symposium Council. Everything she has done is for them.
Gin was chosen to be on the NDSC board in 2001. She was first a Regional Director, and later became NDSC’s Education Director and VP. Next, she became President of the NDSC and continued the Board as past president. At the same time she had been dreaming of her two favorite Organizations working together and stayed on the board as co-chair of the National Docent Symposium 2011 which was held in Saint Louis, hosted by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum Docents.
Gin has been helping other Museums that were hosting NDSC’s Symposia and has been asked to be an NDSC Advisor for the past four years.
Gail grew up in southern California where her parents took her to museums on a regular basis. As an undergraduate, she majored in Anthropology and minored in Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her fascination with the Fauve period took her to France where she spent a summer tracking down paintings in remote museums. Gail travels extensively and always visits museums in each place she visits. Recently she wrote an article about the National Museums of Tehran, Iran which was posted on the NDSC website.
Gail received a National Endowment for the Arts award to study Art in the Relationship to Human Development at Stanford. She has had a life-long interest in teaching both children and adults, so it was natural for her to become a teacher, principal and school superintendent and obtain her doctorate in Educational Administration. She worked in the US and abroad.
My Connection with the NDSC
Gail has had a long relationship with museums in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously she served as a volunteer at the Fine Arts Museums and the Oakland Museum and a board member of MOCHA (Museum of Children’s Art). In 2003, after 21 years as a school superintendent, she began the 3+ year training program to be a docent at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Since that time, she has chaired the Talks and Tours Committee and currently is a member of the School Committee. In 2013, she organized the National Docent Symposium gala event at the Asian Art Museum and also was elected as a Western Director for the National Docent Council. In 2016, she was responsible for the NDSC Recruitment and Professional Development. This included the Mentor program and new board orientation. Currently she serves as a NDSC advisor. She thoroughly enjoys working with council members from the US and Canada.