The CHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is proud to announce a guest lecture by Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian’s Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador at Large.
In a talk based on his book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, Richard Kurin will show how artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution’s collections tell the story of America. Some of the items he covers are iconic – George Washington’s portrait, the Star-Spangled Banner, and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz are well-known examples.
But Kurin also covers less-well-known objects, like the Bakelizer, the John Bull Steam locomotive, and the remains of Martha, the last passenger pigeon. His work addresses a theme that CHS explores in our That’s Weird exhibit – how museums can use unusual or extraordinary objects to convey historical times and events in a dramatic but tangible way.
The event is FREE and open to the public, but please RSVP before February 28th at [email protected] or by calling 860-236-5621 ext. 238.
Questions? Contact Adult Programs Manager Natalie Belanger at [email protected] or call 860-236-5621 ext. 289.
About the Speaker
Richard Kurin serves as the Smithsonian’s Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador at Large. He has worked for the Smithsonian for some four decades, and for the last ten years as Under Secretary, responsible for the national museums, research centers and educational programs. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, he is a former Fulbright Fellow who earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago. Kurin is the author of seven books, including the best-selling The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects and Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem. He has led U.S. efforts to save cultural heritage in natural disasters in Haiti, and in conflict situations in Iraq and other world regions. His scholarship and museological work has been recognized by the International Council of Museums, UNESCO, and Harvard’s Peabody Museum. He was awarded the Smithsonian Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves as the Smithsonian’s liaison to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the White House Historical Association, and numerous other boards.