Dr. Colburn taught previously at Oberlin College in Ohio and has worked for The Guthrie Theatre, The Children's Theatre Company, and The Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis. She designs costumes for theatre, opera and dance, and creates reproduction historical clothing for museum exhibitions. Dr. Colburn has research affiliations with museums in Norway for ongoing research on clothing and handwoven textiles. She has done guest curatorial and catalog research for Vesterhiem Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa and the Museum of American Folk Art in New York. Current research and publication topics include dress among immigrant groups in America, and dress and identity in portraiture.
Ph.D. Costume History, University of Minnesota