Podcasts

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Headshot of a man.

Photo by  Ken Rahaim

Director of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)

Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Director Kevin Gover (Pawnee) has been leading the only national museum devoted exclusively to Native peoples since 2007. Established by an act of Congress in 1989, NMAI consists of a museum in New York City, a conservation facility in Maryland, and a stunning five-story, 250,000-square-foot golden-colored building with sweeping curving walls and indigenous landscaping on the National Mall. With Native Americans taking the lead in both its design and organization, the museum is home to more than 800,000 Native artifacts from throughout the Western Hemisphere, an archive of more than 125,000 photographs, and a vibrant collection of contemporary native art. It also offers a range of exhibitions, film and video screenings, school group programs, public programs, and living culture presentations throughout the year. In this podcast episode, Gover talks about the mission of the museum, which is to celebrate the art, culture, and history of Native peoples as vital and sustaining while unraveling the myths that have been engendered about Native peoples through popular culture. Given the museum’s mandate to represent not just the 573 Indian nations in the United States but all the Native peoples in the Western Hemisphere--from the Arctic Circle straight down to South America, Gover has a daunting challenge. He meets it with extraordinary equanimity, insight, and a commitment to collaborative creativity. Here’s a look at a museum like no other through the eyes of the man who guides it.

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Wil Haygood

Photo Courtesy of the Columbus Museum of Art

Journalist, author, and cultural historian

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, the intellectual, social and artistic burst of African-American culture that erupted in the Harlem neighborhood in New York City. The Columbus Museum of Art is marking the anniversary with a dazzling exhibition I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100. Through paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, contemporary documents, books and posters, the exhibition sheds light on both breadth and depth of the Harlem Renaissance. Wil Haygood-a Columbus native-was guest curator and author of the companion book I, Too, Sing America. In this week’s podcast, Wil and I talk about the Harlem Renaissance: the lives of its artists and the spectacular work they produced, the social history that informed the art movement, and the work of bringing it all together in the exhibit and the book.

Chief Digital Officer of MIA Douglas Hegley and inventors Samantha Porter and Colin McFadden turn the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) into a puzzle room.

More and more museums are moving away from focusing entirely on the content of their collections to focusing on the experience of visiting a museum. Douglas Hegley at MIA had the idea reach out to the tech community and ask them to develop ideas for alternative ways to experience the museum. So MIA teamed up with 3M to create The 3M Art and Technology Award to do just that. Meanwhile founders of the Advanced Imaging Service for Objects and Spaces at the University of Minnesota, Sam Porter and Colin McFadden loved puzzle rooms-- places that create a challenge or mystery that a group of friends solve together by finding and deciphering clues usually within a specified period of time. Sam and Colin combined their expertise to create the app which won the 2018 award: “Riddle Mia This” which transforms MIA into a giant puzzle room. Douglas, Sam and Colin join me to talk about the how and why of it all.

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Photo Credit: Austin Britt

Executive Director of the Delta Blues Museum

Keeping the blues alive and honoring its history

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Headshot of Johnnetta Cole

photo credit: Jessica Suworoff, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution

Director of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art

Dr. Cole’s mission is to inspire a love of art especially in girls from under-represented communities.

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Graham Beal headshot

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Graham Beal takes us behind the scenes of the new exhibit Frida Kalho and Diego Rivera in Detroit and shares his support for the Blue Star Museum Program.

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Dr. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw and John Vick standing side by side facing the camera

Dr. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw and John Vick, curators of Represent: 200 Years of African American Art at the PMA

With a new exhibit and catalogue-- both titled REPRESENT, the Philadelphia Museum of Art puts its extensive collection of African American art on view

Organizing curator John Vick and consulting curator/editor Dr. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw tell us about its rich history.

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Stephen Jost

Photo courtesy of the Honolulu Museum of Art

Director, Honolulu Museum of Art

Stephan Jost discusses how the Honolulu Museum of Art works to serve its military community. [25:56]

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Sarah Cash

Courtesy of the Corcoran Gallery of Art

Curator of the American Art Wing at the Corcoran Gallery

Sarah Cash discusses the making of a great collection of American art.

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Sarah Greenough

Photo used courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art

The editor of My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Vol 1 discusses the relationship of the two artists. [29:32]

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