Wonderful Women Wednesday: Phyllis Rudstrom Brenner

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Phyllis Rudstrom Brenner was a geologist who worked as a museum technician with the department of mineral sciences at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History between 1969 and 1979. 

Following her retirement, she continued to volunteer with the Museum for decades. Among her responsibilities as a volunteer, Brenner painted the casts of rare fossils for exhibitions and research.

Brenner earned a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and a master’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in geology.

Brenner wears headgear that covers her eyes. She holds a tall thin paint brush to a cast.

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