Tuesday, November 17, 6:00 p.m. – REGISTER HERE – Sponsored by the Thomas W. Bullitt Perpetual Charitable Trust
The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago promised to show visitors the glories of their modern, industrial age, but history was a constant presence in the “White City.” In his recent book, The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress, UofL history and museum studies professor Daniel Gifford explores the troubled attempts to interpret the history of the whaling industry at the world’s fair — an idea with surprising roots in Louisville’s own Southern Exposition. The Filson also travelled to Chicago, where objects and art owned and commissioned by members told the story of the United States’ first frontier—even as the young American Historical Association proclaimed the closing of the West. Join Gifford and Filson Director of Collections & Research Patrick Lewis for a conversation about this intersection of East, South, and Midwest, when the era of professional museums and historians began to eclipse an older tradition of local historical promoters and private collectors. How did the Columbian Exposition give us History and museum craft as we know it today, and why should we think critically about the legacies it has left us?
Daniel Gifford, Ph.D. is a public historian who focuses on American popular and visual culture, as well as museums in American culture. His career spans both academia and public history, including several years with the Smithsonian Institution. He received his PhD from George Mason University in 2011, and now teaches courses on American history and museum studies at the University of Louisville and Spalding University.