Vice President for Collections and Chief Curator
In 1989, Christopher Bensch became one of the curators at The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, with responsibility for a wide array of items—furniture and cookware, record albums and televisions, Big Mac boxes and Halloween costumes. Since 2004, Chris has served as Vice President for Collections with oversight of the museum’s curatorial, conservation, and library functions and the more than 480,000 objects make it the largest, most comprehensive collection of toys, games, dolls, and video games in the world.
At The Strong, Chris has acted as curator for numerous exhibits including Reading Adventureland and Field of Play, the major exhibits that opened in 2006 as part of The Strong’s $37-million expansion that almost doubled the size of the museum. Most recently he has overseen production of the museum’s two newest 2nd floor exhibits—the Toy Halls of Fame that opened in September 2015 and America at Play that opened in December 2016.
Chris also serves as the primary spokesperson for the National Toy Hall of Fame which, every November, selects two or three classic toys deserving that special honor. Representing the Hall of Fame, Chris has hula hooped on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, recounted the history of Slinky and Silly Putty on the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum series, and appeared live on MSNBC and on ABC’s Good Morning America Sunday. He’s also taken part in numerous radio shows, including NPR’s Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.