Sharing the African American Story
Smithsonian Institution. Nationa
Location: Hynson Lounge
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The National Museum of African American History and Culture will occupy a place of honor on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., when it opens in 2015. The person most responsible for defining and developing its mission, founding director Lonnie G. Bunch, will share the history of the project when he visits Washington College on Tuesday, April 15. Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center, Bunch’s talk, “The Challenge of Building a National Museum,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. It is free and open to the public.
The new museum highlights the Smithsonian’s ongoing transition from a 19th-century institution to a 21st-century enterprise. From his unique perspective, Bunch will reflect on the difficulties of chronicling race in American museums. He also will talk about how his museum will be a place where all Americans can learn how the African American experience helped shape the nation.
“In his visit to Washington College, Lonnie Bunch will reveal far more than an insider’s view of the contents and design of the National Mall’s newest museum,” says Starr Center deputy director Ted Maris-Wolf. “He will mark a long-overdue moment of national reckoning with a tragic past whose legacies we are still struggling to overcome in this country, in Maryland, and in Chestertown.”
As director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Lonnie G. Bunch, III is responsible for developing exhibitions and public programs, as well as coordinating fundraising and budget development. One of the nation’s leading history and museum professionals, Bunch previously served as president of the Chicago Historical Society and worked for many years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. A noted historian and author, he has written on a range of topics, from the black military experience and the American presidency to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on museums.
Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For more information, visit www.washcoll.edu. The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the American past and present. Through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach, and a special focus on written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.