The Friends Lecture Series

May Lecture: “The Challenge of Building a National Museum”

May 16, 2019 11:00 am

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Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture Lonnie Bunch to speak at May Friends lecture.

Lonnie Bunch, Mia
Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Founding Director  of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to Mia will be the featured speaker for the Friends May lecture on May 16 at 11AM.

Mr. Bunch’s talk will explore the history and struggle to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture—a process that included a variety of challenges including building on the Mall, conceptual frameworks, public expectations, and the contextual terrain of race.

Mr. Bunch will discuss the strategies used to successfully navigate these challenges, talk about the current status and future plans for the museum, and explore how it will ultimately help the Smithsonian transition from a 19th-century institution to a 21st-century enterprise.

Mr. Bunch served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society (2001-05) and held several positions at the Smithsonian, including associate director for curatorial affairs (1994-2000) and supervising curator (1989-1992) at the National Museum of American History. He is the author of the award-winning book, Call the Lost Dream Back: Essays on Race, History and Museums (2010), and has published several other books including Slave Culture: A Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives (2014) and Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives (2015).

Since 2008, Bunch has served as the series co-editor of the “New Public Scholarship Edition” from the University of Michigan Press.  He has also served on the advisory boards of the American Association of Museums, the African American Association of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the ICOM-US. Lonnie Bunch has received several awards and recognition including being appointed by President George W. Bush to the Commission for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 (reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2009). In 2005, Bunch was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals in the 20th century by the American Association of Museums. In 2017, Bunch was given the President Award at the NAACP Image Award, presented with the Impact Leader Award from the Greater Washington Urban League, and was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tickets are going fast, so reserve your spot today!

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March Friends Lecture

March 14, 2019 11:00 am

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Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

“The Sunken Cities and Shipwrecks of Ancient Egypt’s Alexandrian Coast”  presented by Dr. Damian Robinson.

Dr. Robinson is part of the team examining the extensive assemblage of maritime artifacts from the sites of Thonis-Heracleion and Alexandria, some of which are on display in Mia’s current Egypt exhibition. 

He is a classical archaeologist who is interested in ancient seafaring and seafarers in the Mediterranean and beyond and an Associate Professor of Maritime Archaeology in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, where he is also the Director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA). 

Reserve your ticket at artsmia.org or by calling 612.870.6323.

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FEBRUARY FRIENDS LECTURE

February 14, 2019 11:00 am

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Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Nora Naranjo Morse presents “Numbe Whageh – Pueblo Perspectives in Public Art ( Numbe Whageh-Tewa interpretation, Our Center Place).”

Nora Naranjo Morse, Artist and Friend’s February Lecturer.

The February Friends Lecture will feature artist Nora Naranjo Morse. Morse will discuss public art from a Native and, specifically, Pueblo perspective. A lifelong resident of the Santa Clara Pueblo, she has been steeped in the rich traditions of her people as well as exposed to a different set of traditions in the Anglo world. Morse attempts to resolve these conflicting pulls through her work, which pays homage to her long lineage by embracing aspects of the contemporary world.

Morse is a sculptor, writer, and producer of films that look at the continuing social changes within Pueblo Indian culture. In addition to Santa Fe, her work can be seen at Mia, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. A graduate of the College of Santa Fe, Morse is the recipient of an honorary degree from Skidmore College and a 2014 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship.

Free tickets are available starting January 15 for Friends members and January 17 for nonmembers. Click the ticket link below or call 612.870.6323.

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MARCH FRIENDS LECTURE

March 14, 2019 11:00 am

THIS EVENT HAS PASSED

Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Save the date for “The Sunken Cities and Shipwrecks of Ancient Egypt’s Alexandrian Coast”  presented by Dr. Damian Robinson.

The sunken cities off the Alexandrian coastline offer unparalleled insights into the lives of people who lived, worshiped, and traded at the edge of Egypt’s Great Green Sea.

The March lecture will use the discoveries by Franck Goddio and the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine in the port city of Thonis-Heracleion to trace its development through key periods of its history: the early years when Egyptians first met trading and raiding Greeks, the port’s growth into the most important international trading center in Egypt, and its later years as a vibrant religious center.

The life of the port also helps tell the story of wider changes taking place in Egyptian society, it’s turbulent years of rule by native pharaohs and then successive conquests by Persian, and later, Macedonian armies. As would befit a port situated at the end of the westernmost navigable branch of the Nile, the lecture will also highlight the many ships, boats, and anchors that have been discovered in its waters and examine their use in transport, trade, and ritual around the maritime cultural landscape of the Alexandrian coast.     

Dr. Robinson is an Associate Professor of Maritime Archaeology in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, where he is also the Director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA). He is a classical archaeologist who is interested in ancient seafaring and seafarers in the Mediterranean and beyond. His research concentrates on port cities and their nautical assemblages, particularly those of the submerged landscapes of Alexandria and the Canopic coastline of Egypt, where he works with the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine. Here Robinson is part of the team examining the extensive assemblage of maritime artifacts from the sites of Thonis-Heracleion and Alexandria. 

Free tickets are available starting February 15 for Friends members and February 17 for nonmembers. Click the ticket link below or call 612.870.6323.

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January Friends Lecture to Discuss Public Art

January 10, 2019 11:00 am

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Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Erika Doss  presents “Monumental Troubles: Reckoning with Problematic Public Art in America” at the Friends lecture on January 10.

Erika Doss will discuss how public art creates a cultural space and invites public participation and  response in her January 10 Friends lecture.

Doss, a Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame and recipient of a PhD from the University of Minnesota, will address ways that public art does not always communicate the human experience and can become “out of sync” with present-day values and ideals.  She will ask “How do we as Americans address this and the dilemmas of dissent and historical accountability in public culture?”

Free tickets are available by clicking the ticket link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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SAVE THE DATE FOR FEBRUARY FRIENDS LECTURE

February 14, 2019 11:00 am

THIS EVENT HAS PASSED

Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Nora Naranjo Morse presents “Numbe Whageh – Pueblo Perspectives in Public Art ( Numbe Whageh-Tewa interpretation, Our Center Place).”

Artist Nora Naranjo Morse

In anticipation of the upcoming Mia special exhibition, “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists,” presented by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in the spring of 2019, the February Friends Lecture features native artist Nora Naranjo Morse.  Her clay creation, “Our Homes Ourselves” was acquired by the museum in 2000, making it a profound addition to Mia’s permanent collection.

Morse will discuss public art from a native, Pueblo perspective.  A life-long resident of the Santa Clara Pueblo, she has been steeped in the rich traditions of her people as well as exposed to a different set of traditions in the Anglo world. Morse attempts to resolve these conflicting pulls through her work, which pays homage to her long lineage as it embraces aspects of the contemporary world.

Morse is a sculptor, writer, and producer of films that look at the continuing social changes within Pueblo Indian culture.  An artist best known for her work with clay, she makes pottery and figurines, as well as installations and large-scale public art.  From earth works to clay and straw towers, her artwork often feature notes of whimsy.

Outside of Santa Fe, her work can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.  A graduate of the College of Santa Fe, she became the first Native American to have an outdoor sculpture installed on the National Mall in Washington D.C. when her installation, “Always Becoming”, was selected by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. She is the author of the poetry collection Mud Woman:  Poems from the Clay, which combines poems with photographs of her work in clay.

Free tickets are available starting January 15 for Friends members and January 17 for non-members. Click the ticket link below or call 612.870.6323.

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How to Forge a Rare Book

December 13, 2018 11:00 am

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Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Renowned historian to discuss how he uncovered a rare book forgery at Friends Lecture on December 13.

Dr. Nick Wilding will speak on December 13 on “How to Forge a Rare Book.”

Please join the Friends of the Institute as Dr. Nick Wilding presents, “How to Forge a Rare Book.”

Dr. Wilding, faculty member at Georgia State University, is an Early Modern Historian with expertise on Galileo Galilei (the famous astronomer) and the history of books.  Wilding became widely renowned by uncovering a forgery of a book published by Galileo in 1610. Hear Wilding describe how he revealed a fake book that had already been accepted as authentic by international consensus.

Free tickets are available by clicking the ticket link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

 

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Save the date for January Friends Lecture

January 10, 2019 11:00 am

THIS EVENT HAS PASSED

Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Erika Doss presents “Monumental Troubles: Reckoning with Problematic Public Art in America”

Public Art creates a cultural space and invites public participation and public response. Monuments, memorials and other forms of public art are often designed to recognize and preserve memories and to honor particular people and historic events.

But what does being “public art” mean and whose “public” is being represented? Erika Doss will address this in her lecture to the Friends on January 10, 2019. She will discuss ways that public art does not always communicate the human experience and can become “out of sync” with present-day values and ideals. How do we as Americans address this and the dilemmas of dissent and historical accountability in public culture?

Erika Doss is a Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, which was followed by teaching courses at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The recipient of several Fulbright awards, Doss has also held fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Free tickets are available starting December 15 for Friends members and December 17 for non-members. Click the ticket link below or call 612.870.6323.

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A Random Walk Through Mia

November 8, 2018 11:00 am

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Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

November Friends Lecture to feature former Star Tribune visual arts columnist Mary Abbe

“Wrestling Art into Words: A Random Walk through Mia” lecture presented by Friends of the Institute, will highlight Mary Abbe. This award winning journalist opened up an entire world to readers through her visual arts column that ran in the Star Tribune from 1984-2016. 

Her world was one of stories—of art, artists, curators, gallery and museum staff, art lawyers, restorers, movers and more. Retired now, Abbe says that roaming art galleries is still one of her favorite diversions. Join us as we listen to her stories inspired by Mia—its art, people and community. 

Free tickets are available by clicking the link at the bottom or by calling 612.870.6323

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How to Forge a Rare Book

December 13, 2018 11:00 am

THIS EVENT HAS PASSED

Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Renowned historian to discuss how he uncovered a rare book forgery at Friends Lecture on December 13.

Dr. Nick Wilding will speak on December 13

Please join the Friends of the Institute as Dr. Nick Wilding presents, “How to Forge a Rare Book.”  

Dr. Wilding, faculty member at Georgia State University, is an Early Modern Historian with expertise on Galileo Galilei (the famous astronomer) and on the history of books.  Wilding became widely renowned by uncovering a forgery of a book published by Galileo in 1610 that contained some of his greatest discoveries. Hear Wilding describe how he revealed a fake book that had already been accepted as authentic by international consensus.  Dr. Wilding’s knowledge of early manuscripts, as well as his very discerning eye, led to this remarkable story of discovering what is authentic in today’s world of sophisticated fabrication and technology.

Nick Wilding is an associate professor at Georgia State University and teaches Early Modern Europe, as well as the history of books.  In particular, Dr. Wilding is an expert on Galileo Galilei, the giant of astronomy and modern physics. Wilding’s expertise became obvious in recent years as he studied a copy of a book Galileo wrote in 1610, titled Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger).  Unlike the 90 some other copies of the book that exist today, the one before Nick Wilding was a forgery.  But it was a forgery so well done that he had a challenge ahead of him to convince others.

The story of the original text is also fascinating.  In 1609, seeking a new job or a pay raise, Galileo invented a new telescope that could magnify 8X (as opposed to 2X of recently available spyglasses).   He presented the telescope as a gift to the Senate of Venice and, in return, was granted tenure and a doubled salary.  Within months he also developed a 20X telescope that opened the heavens for him! (Described here).   With the heavens more visible, he could affirm that the moon was not perfectly spherical but had mountains and craters.  He also discovered four of the moons of Jupiter, thus presenting new evidence of multiple centers of rotation in the universe and decentering the Earth.  One historian has called Galileo’s book of discoveries “the most extraordinary episode in the history of scientific publishing.”

It was not simple for Nick Wilding to reveal the forgery.  An international group of scholars had met in Berlin and declared the copy authentic.   They believed that minor differences in the text could be explained by understanding the newly found copy as a “proof copy,” unique unto itself.  The book, already purchased by the dealer Martayan Lan, was valued at $10M.  

As one scholar indicated, Dr. Wilding brought to the debate a fresh set of eyes and a thorough knowledge of Galileo’s patrons and friends.  Wilding challenged the explanation that the book was a proof copy.  Others came forward with their own doubts.  And gradually the consensus changed.

 We are fortunate to have Dr. Wilding present to us.  Forgeries have been with us throughout history and it is astounding to realize that new technologies make it possible to imitate all aspects of the original publication even after 400 years.  I look forward to hearing and learning “How to Forge a Rare Book.” 

Free tickets are available by clicking the link at the bottom or by calling 612.870.6323.

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