Dr. Richard Kurin of the Smithsonian Institution Offers a "History of America in 101 Objects"
On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Dr. Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian Institution's Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, who oversees most of the organization's various museums as well as many of its educational programs. An anthropologist and cultural historian by training, and a former Fulbright fellow with a doctorate from the University of Chicago, Dr. Kurin is also the author of a new book, "The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects," which gathers devices and artifacts of all sorts, and from all periods of our history --- from the pre-Columbian era on this continent to the digital age, from the American Revolution to Vietnam, from the Great Depression to 9/11. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "Kurin [has] done a masterful job. Even...well-known items have surprising and significant back stories. Unexpected selections...make [this] book even more engrossing...[and often] can make for some emotional reading. Kurin does a terrific job of expanding upon the story of each object, whether it's a pair of slave shackles or a damaged door from one of the New York City fire trucks that responded to 9/11. This humanistic approach to storytelling makes for immersive, addictive reading." Dr. Kurin will be speaking about, and signing copies of, his book tonight (Thursday the 21st) at the Philbrook Musuem of Art here in Tulsa; his presentation, beginning at 6:30pm, is part of that museum's ongoing Third Thursday series, and you can learn more about it at this link.