What does it mean to conserve and sustain culture? How to we care for art, artifacts, and legacies? At the Archives of American Art, these questions also relate to accessibility, sustainability, and inclusivity; this episode examines preservation and maintenance in cultural institutions and beyond.
Oral History Interviews Featured
- Neda Al-Hilali, 2006 July 18-19
- Joyce Marquess Carey, 2002 June 16
- Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo, 2010 April 24-25
- Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, 2014 May 1- 2015 May 25
- Mira Nakashima, 2010 March 11
- Judith Schaechter, 2011 July 19-20
- George Leslie Stout, 1978 March 10-21
- Carroll F. Wales, 1992 November 10-1993 February 11
- Laura Mina, textiles conservator
- Julia Simic, Assistant Head of Digital Scholarship Services, Digital Production & Preservation at the University of Oregon Libraries
[Theme music plays]
Julia Simic: We can't preserve everything. We just don't have that capacity. We need resources. Everything you choose to preserve is an obligation, that takes resources and know-how and, strategy in order to, Implement and carry out.
Susan Cary: Hello, and welcome to Articulated. I'm Susan Cary, Registrar and Collections Manager for the Archives of American Art.
Lindsey Bright: And I'm Lindsey Bright, Library Technician. Support for this podcast comes from the Alice L. Walton Foundation.
Susan Cary: What does it mean to preserve art? Works of art exist as physical objects that degrade over time, and they're also represented and replicated through images, models, and memories. Museums, archives, libraries, and galleries preserve cultural heritage both by protecting objects and by encouraging conversations around those objects. Here at the Archives of American Art, that means stewarding our collections to foster research and wonder in the rich history of the visual arts across the United States. Our institution is one of many that participate in and perpetuate culture by holding on to the past so that the future might learn from it.
[Theme music ends]
Lindsey Bright: In this episode, we will think about conservation broadly–what does it mean to maintain and cherish our artifacts, ideas, and heritage.
We spoke with Laura Mina, a textiles conservator, about what her work entails in caring for objects in all of their facets:
Laura Mina: So as a textile conservator, my job is to be a caretaker for textiles that are considered part of cultural heritage. So that's different than taking care of textiles that are part of cultural use most of the time. So, the easy way of thinking about that is that I do my laundry like everyone else does their laundry, but for the textiles that are considered part of our cultural heritage, they get treated a little bit differently with a little bit more care
And I'm a big fan of science fiction writing. So the way I think about my job is that these cultural heritage textiles are going to travel through time, and it's my job to help them along that journey. So I'm sort of part of a network of care that…it really starts with the creator of the textile and then all the people who used it and cared for it in the past.
And then I get to spend some really special time with the textile and then I want to send it off into the future so that lots of other people can enjoy it. discover new things about it. I hope and just have their own opportunities with it. So when I think about conservation and how to achieve that, that time travel, it kind of fits into three different categories of research and work that I do to be a conservator means that you need specialist training in chemistry to understand on a chemical level what's happening both with the textiles and different ways in which those textiles might deteriorate.
I also need to know about mechanics. One of the great textile qualities is flexibility and how they move. And so I want to understand stress and strain. What are the properties that that textile needs to function and to be all that it's meant to be? And then how can I help support and preserve that?
And then the cultural context of textiles is also always super important and that could be really different for two really similar textiles. So for example, with one textile, it might really be all about the creator's original intention. And so my work might be to make that creators original intention.
What is the most accessible aspect of that textile, which means making it look as new as possible again, or the significance of the textile might be the way it had been used? And so something that might look like a stain or might look like damage on the textile could actually be part of what makes it so special and so important within a collection.
My work is also that balance of preservation and access. I don't necessarily want things to be used up, but I do want them to be used. I do want them to be accessed, but I want it to be done in a way that prolongs that journey into the future for them.
Lindsey Bright: The mortality of objects is often on artists' minds as they create. Here's quiltmaker
Joyce Marquess Carey in conversation with Glenn Adamson in 2002, describing how she conceptualizes the life cycle of material in her work:
Joyce Marquess Carey: In fact, I’m planning to make a piece –it’s down the line here someplace in my future – called “Ephemera” because of the issue that came up in my last exhibition of lightfastness and things disintegrating in the light, and the feeling I had that I don’t necessarily want my–I don’t intend for my work to last for a million years anyway. Nothing lasts for a million years; it’s all relative. Maybe if you’re carving in stone and it’s not exposed to the weather and nobody comes in with a sledgehammer, it’s going to last quite a long time, but all work, everything, disappears sooner or later. So I was thinking maybe instead of going toward worrying more about making things last longer, I should go toward making things that don’t really have much of a life. You know, you have your moment. And I was thinking of things like–I love flowers and gardening–thinking of things like spring wildflowers. You know, they have their moment. It’s so short. It’s gone. You’ve got to wait a year. That’s it. Or dragonflies, things like that. Ephemera.
Glenn Adamson: So, what would the piece be?
Joyce Marquess Carey: [Laughs.] I don’t know. But I would like it to have more at least a feeling of being fragile and not so precious as the pieces that I make, which are sort of beefy, in a way. They’re really substantial. Everything’s sewed down.
Glenn Adamson: That’s an interesting thing because it seems like what you make is quite – not permanent, but it’s quite substantial. It’s a lot more like painting than it is like dancing or one of the performative arts.
Joyce Marquess Carey: It is more like painting. But painting’s ephemeral also.
Glenn Adamson: True. Right. As any conservator will tell you.
Joyce Marquess Carey: Yeah I'm sure
Lindsey Bright: Other artists keep their eyes on the horizon. Stained glass artist Judith Schaechter voices her hopes for the enduring physical and cultural significance of her work in her 2011 oral history:
Judith Schaechter: I mean, I do and I don't. I hold myself to these ridiculous standards so I'm often really hard on it. But I hope that it stands up, and I think it's just a chance you have to take. It's a crapshoot.
My gambits are figuration. That's not going to go out of style until we mutate. Sensual beauty–not going to go out of style until we mutate. And light–not going to go out of style until we leave the solar system and mutate. So I think I'm safe. Those are the things that I think–I think every artist if you're going to compete on that level, you have to encode your work. It has to be embedded with orders to be preserved. Otherwise, people are going to throw it out.
Let's take, for example, they drop neutron bombs so that the buildings and objects are preserved and the people go away, and then, like, 2,000 years from now they dig up our culture, and what are they going to call our art–I mean, television, assuming that survives–and objects and stuff are going to survive. And I think some art is going to be indistinguishable from the heaps of rubble that inevitably happen.
So I want my work to be preserved. I definitely want my work to be preserved. So I try to make things that people might want to preserve, and I don't care if it's the people who live in New York right now. I want it to be–I'm trying to think universally. What are the things that appeal to people universally? And that's maybe why I got interested in the idea of beauty not being in the eye of the beholder, which is not possible to prove. It's definitely in the eye of the beholder.
Susan Cary: Conservation evolved dramatically as a field over the 20th century in step with advancements in chemistry and microscopy, and it was also buoyed by increasing institutional interest and investment in the preservation of art and artifacts. George Stout was a pivotal figure in painting restoration and conservation throughout the century. Though he's more famous now for his role with the Monuments Men, a group that reclaimed artworks seized by the Third Reich
during World War II and whose stories are vivified in the 2014 George Clooney film, Stout's commitment to preservation invigorated the discipline for decades.
Here's how he described his conservation work at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in his 1978 oral history interview with Paul Karlstrom:
Paul Karlstrom: What about some of the great objects in the Gardner Museum. I gather from what you say that you were very much involved in maintaining the collections and you also had an opportunity to work directly in conservation and so forth. Did you ever have the opportunity to work on, say, the great Titian, The Rape of Europa, or one of the star pictures?
George Stout: Well, we did work on many. The Rape of Europa, the only thing we did to that was to rebuild the frame so that you could take the picture out without having to take down that great heavy frame. In the event of an emergency, you’d have to evacuate it. There were certain steps that could have been taken towards the preservation, but I’ve always stuck to the general rule to do what you need to do when it needs to be done in conservation. If things are all right, if they’re not grossly misrepresented by their state at the moment, let's just not tear into them and disturb them.
Paul Karlstrom: Wouldn’t one work with a certain amount of trepidation, though in a case like that, I suppose it’s like a surgeon. Sure, a misstep or slip could be fatal for a human being, or in this case, a work of art, but is that something that is very much in mind as you remove overpainting and varnishes?
George Stout: I don’t know how to describe the feelings that one has in doing that. You have done all you can do to learn what’s there ahead of time. You’re never absolutely sure. You’re convinced that something has to be done, and soon, otherwise you wouldn’t do it. So you go ahead, and I suppose you’re never free from that feeling of–almost of guilt–digging into a fine work. All you can say is, it’s got to be saved and this is one thing that I’m convinced is going to save it. If your fear or guilt is overwhelming, I suppose you wouldn’t be able to do anything.
Lindsey Bright: For Stout's generation, restoration meant recuperating and maintaining the artist's original intentions in the work. Carroll F. Wales, a conservator who specialized in Byzantine art, trained under Stout and worked with him in the Boston area. In his 1992-1993 oral history interview with Robert F. Brown, Wales echoes the principles prized by Stout while detailing the process of cleaning a varnished oil painting:
Carroll F. Wales: There's a matter of ethics, of course, when you're doing a restoration on something because you can't damage it. You–it doesn't–it goes against your conscience if there's any slight damage to a work of art. So, you have to proceed very, very cautiously, and very carefully. You start out usually with a magnifying loop so that you can magnify the area. You learn to know–you learn to where one should start.
For instance, if you're cleaning a painting, there are certain pigments you never start in the darks. You always begin, well, in a white area or a light area or a sky area or a cloud because the paint is much stronger. It's a combination of several pigments together, and also, you can see what you're doing. You use two swabs–one with the solvent that you think is going to perform the task of removing varnish or dirt or whatever, and the other one with a diluent. That means it will stop the action immediately if you find that you're going too far. and, of course, you not only look at the painting, but you look at the cotton, the swabs that you're using. You go in very, very small areas until you are certain that you are on the right track. if you start working on a painting after a good solid examination,
and it's best to get a second opinion if you can. Talk with other people and then you know from past experience, hopefully, what you think might work.
If there's perhaps something a little less strong than what you had planned to do, try that, and you work gradually up until you feel that you've got the right solvent or detergent. Now, most paintings have been varnished, but most of them have a layer of dirt, maybe even nicotine. Now solvents as such, chemical solvents will not touch these. Unless they're so strong they go through these, to the varnish underneath, but that's not the way to begin. What you want to do first is to get the dust and the dirt off, the grime, which may be mixed a little with the varnish, but at least, you've got to get that off as much as you could–as you can. So, first, what you've done is remove the grime then you start on the little more difficult part of cleaning the varnish coating that has given the painting the so-called Old Master glow, which is really only dirty varnish. I suppose it's like a doctor. Before you start operating, you've got to know–you've got to not only know but watch what other people do, and remember what they do, and why they do it.
Susan Cary: You can find much more about George Stout, the Monuments Men, and Carroll F. Wales on our website, where many relevant papers have been digitized, including Stout's diaries. Digitization is a vital tool for libraries, archives, and museums to make their materials more accessible for wider audiences, but it is an expensive and labor-intensive process. While restoration and conservation focus on protecting the original object, digitization offers a way to make it available for many more researchers without putting the object at risk through frequent handling. Julia Simic, Assistant Head of Digital Scholarship Services, Digital Production & Preservation at the University of Oregon Libraries, told us about the limits and challenges that institutions face in preserving and presenting objects digitally:
Julia Simic: We can't preserve everything. We just don't have that capacity. We need resources. Those resources are a business plan, you know, it's funding so that we can cover our costs. It's a sustainability plan so that we can not only maintain the objects but maintain the program that supports maintaining the objects. And it's also an investment in building the skills of the people who are going to be doing this work.
And as far as technology, you know, the big one is storage, you know, storage space costs, money. Beyond that we need the software and the tools, and we need people to take care of security so that, you know, things don't get corrupt. but there's also that kind of bigger, organizational, infrastructure that I mentioned, which is about policies and, maintaining, some strategic goals over time and supporting strategic goals that support the institution.
There's putting in the processes that are supporting best practices. And like I say, there's staffing as well. Not all of this all isn't automatic. so when we think about selectivity, we have to think about the impact of what we are keeping in terms of all of that support that's needed, all that infrastructure.
And what we do at the University of Oregon, just to be, particular for a moment is that we, We curate what we keep over time, what we preserve. We have to; we just don't have the resources to maintain everything. So we prioritize things that are based in the collections that we have. So special collections got papers from someone. And part of those papers are on their computer hard drive. We have to think about how do we maintain those born-digital assets in a way that we'll be able to access them at a later time. we preserve things like nitrate film, which is, you know, digitizing a physical piece of film.
That will act as a surrogate. When we know that nitrate is going to disappear one day, we do the same thing for newspapers. we microfilmed newspapers since the sixties, I think,
at the University of Oregon. And that was an attempt to preserve the newspapers, which was on wood pulp, cheap wood pulp paper. And it was deteriorating. We moved it to the microfilm and now the microfilm is very stable, but it's more or less unusable or on the way to being unusable because the format itself is becoming obsolete. So we digitized that. And now we have these digital files that we're preserving and someday we're going to have to, you know, move those digital files to a different format as well so that they maintain integrity and usefulness.
Lindsey Bright: Cultural heritage doesn't stop with the objects themselves, though, it also includes the legacies they encode and convey. Mira Nakashima, an architect and furniture designer, described the mantle of tradition she inherited from her father, George Nakashima, who was also a celebrated furniture designer, and the efforts required to carry on a tradition while making it one's own in her 2010 oral history:
Mira Nakashima: The artistic traditions are really difficult to pass on from one generation to the other. You probably know in Mashiko, Shoji Hamada had a beautiful thing going. And his son was also a potter. But his son is not carrying on his studio, or his work. After Dad passed away, there was this same Japanese friend who was talking about good ego and bad ego, was saying that in Japan there are three different ways that tradition is passed on. One is that the tradition passes on exactly as it always was, like the Urasenke tea ceremonies; you're not allowed to change anything as far as I know within the Urasenke tradition. And then there is another one like the Sogetsu form of flower arrangement. They have traditions which have been passed on from generation to generation, but the new master is supposed to develop something of his own. And that is, you know, it's not a total distinctly different branch; it's still a branch of the same tree. But it is different. And then in the Kabuki tradition, you can pass on the name of an actor from one generation to the next. It's not necessarily a relative or a child even. But it's an actor who takes the same name, but has a completely different style. He just has the name.
And he says there's, you know, those three ways of passing on tradition are well known in Japan. And he thought we were more like the Sogetsu tradition that I should develop. In the States, you have to establish your own legitimacy as a designer. You can't just do the same old thing, or you're considered doing reproductions. And there's a fellow named Bob Aibel who has the Moderne Gallery in Philadelphia, who is extremely–he sold Nakashimas before Dad passed away, from the mid-'80s.
And then after Dad passed away, his market started going up. But nobody was willing to accept the fact that I could do it also. So he was very kind and sponsored a show for me. I think he had Dad's work as well. But he sponsored a show of the new designs that I had developed after Dad passed away in '94. And I think that brought us back to life, as well as the Michener Memorial Room that I designed and built in '93. It established me as a person, a designer, in my own right, as distinct from Dad but still carrying on the Nakashima tradition. And it's tough because in the States and in the Western world, that's not a legitimate thing to do. In the East, in the Far East, it's important and respected, but not in the west.
Lindsey Bright: Family traditions spill into larger cultural currents and our connections with those who came before us and those who will come after us. In her 2010 oral history with Mija Riedel, Katherine "Lehua" Domingo, a fiber artist and master lauhala weaver in Hawai'i, contextualized the traditions and intimacy of craft within the broader waves of globalization and depersonalizing pursuits of profit she witnessed over her career:
Mija Riedel: have you seen many changes in weaving in Hawaii in your lifetime? Have you seen a lot of–I mean, certainly there's a better revival of the traditions
we've talked about increasing experimentation. And it seems like the younger generation is beginning to experiment even more so. They're taking what they've learned.
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: Yes. Yes. We didn't see that many different styles when I was young, and I guess because they wove for necessity. So if they got fancy, whichever, it was probably just for within the family–
Mija Riedel: I see.
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: –or of that concept, not that much for selling–
Mija Riedel: Right.
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: –as much as, you know, just putting them out, whereas today, oh, you have a wide variety, many weavers, many new ones that are interested and do beautiful work–beautiful work. It's grown. It's grown, yes. And I think it's a huge asset that it has, because at one time it was felt that it was going to be lost, the art of weaving, so we've got to be thankful to Cousin Gladys, Auntie Esther, Auntie Elizabeth for reviving it, and really sitting down and making–you know, sharing the knowledge with as many as they could share it with, teaching others, having them become teachers–very, very fortunate.
Mija Riedel: I have a question about sharing the tradition with others so it wouldn't be lost. Something that you mentioned was that Auntie Gladys, at one point, was going to write a book, and then she decided not to because she didn't want the tradition to be lost in another way beyond the people of Hawaii, is my understanding of it.
That seems like a difficult middle ground to navigate. How does one choose how to share that tradition and help it grow but there was, at the same time, a decision not to make a book?
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: Well, I thought of that myself too. It's going to be hard, but I can understand why it's important.
Mija Riedel: Why is it important, do you think?
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: Because it belongs to our culture. I guess it's like the Hopis and their weaving their blankets. It's a part of their culture.
So I can understand the importance. We don't have very many things left. So many things were taken away from us.
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: So if, you know, we can keep something really belonging to us, then I can understand the factor behind it. those are things that–you know, they decided that, oh, no, we don't need to have that kind of laws, made it open to everybody, and look what's happening to our fishing grounds. They've become lost.
I mean, you know, our people did things because of–there's a reason behind those things. They were here many years before us. They tried several things. They knew that it didn't work, that if they continued being spendthrift, whichever, they could one day be without.
So I think the whole world needs to learn to be respectful of each other. Respecting our culture is a very, very important word. And we definitely try to teach our children that, grandchildren, the generations that follow: Be respectful of the land, ocean, and others. So I can understand the reasoning behind that. We don't have very many things left that are ours.
Mija Riedel: It sounds like you think about the entire process as being part of the final hat. It's not just about coming up with a hat. It's about harvesting the leaves. It's about caring for the tree. It's the entire process that matters.
Katherine Kalehuapuakeaula "Lehua" Domingo: That's right. And I think it comes from inside. And that's what shows on the hats. I think somehow the weavers, the person, is in their hat. You know, "I wove this hat.
I'm a part of this hat"–or that hat, you know? You can see Margaret in that hat. The same thing with Susie. I think that makes the difference.
Susan Cary: Preservation also means caring for our communities, our neighbors, our futures, and ourselves. In his 2014 oral history, art historian Tomas Ybarra Frausto, who was a leading expert on and advocate for Chicano art in the United States, delves deeply into these questions as they pertain to his life as a collector and scholar, and how different facets of preservation emerge through different angles of identity.
Tomas Ybarra-Frausto: I'm very much interested in how artists depict their own world, the world that they live in, for themselves, but also for others, because it's a problem with so-called ethnic art that the people outside that ethnic community don't understand what is being pictured. Carmen Lomas Garza is a wonderful example because she's universal in the sense that the things that she talks about, community, family, togetherness, all these are universal ideas, but she does it in a particular idiom which is of southwest Texas.
And so somebody in New York City seeing an exhibit of Carmen Lomas Garza's work really can't get into it because they don't understand the meaning of piñata, they don't understand the meaning of a lot of the real–and yet they're universal because the person watching in New York City, would have other similar things in her or his culture. And so there's a connection, but it has to be explained.
And so one of the things that–and all of my collecting revolves around this notion of the internal and the external. There are things that are around us that we understand because it's part of our heritage, but there are things outside of our traditions that we also understand in a different way, that are also part of our heritage.
And so Mexican American means a combination of the Mexican and the American, and so how to deal with the–how to put those two things together went way back to, like, when I was interested in the European gaze of the New World, and then their gaze about themselves, the costumbrismo paintings and so on. So that push-and-pull between the world that's familiar because I live it and the world that's external, that I learn about.
The bridging of the local and the global is everywhere and everyone does it. So all of a sudden it's not a problem, but in art history, it always…when they deal with American ethnic art, it becomes a problem. But in American art, you can see that a lot of American artists bring their own traditions and depict it with a U.S. spin, as it were.
Lindsey Bright: In her 2006 oral history, Neda Al-Hilali, a fiber artist known for her large installations, talks about her work inscribing her within a rich human tradition, even as many perceive weaving to be in decline:
Neda Al-Hilali: I feel very lucky. I feel very lucky. That I was put in a time and a place where I could do where it could to all these crazy things and, you know, intricate things and wild things. That I had the chance to do all these things like the energy, you know, and, whatever blew through me or whatever. I had in myself, I was able to, I was, I know I did my best to attend my best stuff for, to, to, to pass it on or to, you know, give it back.
But on the other hand, it's just like one barely can live because everywhere one looks it's–the women that I'm part of the chain that is being eliminated. That is gone. It is gone. Other heritage. It's like a garden that's that she's being bulldozed and it's all over. We can find traces here and there,
but basically, it's been killed. Like the growing…our environment is being killed. This life form is being killed too. And this has nothing. And that's how it is. You can try your best to tell people, some people tell people about it or teach some people up. There still is something, you know, but it's all just like, it's almost all like memory
And I'm glad for every corner, every instance that I hear or see hear about or see, where the, where the hand is still alive
Lindsey Bright: Julia Simic, Assistant Head of Digital Scholarship Services, Digital Production, and Preservation at the University of Oregon Libraries, reminded us that digital files are subject to the same forms of deterioration and that making materials available online is the start of a much longer journey with preservation and accessibility:
Julia Simic: Digital preservation is important because digital files are ultimately ephemeral. Just like any other format is ephemeral. It's just a matter of time before it disappears or it becomes unusable. So, you know, when you, when you preserve something, you're protecting an investment you already made, right. You spend a lot of money and work hard at something you spent a lot of time at digitizing something, but that was just the beginning, right? After that comes the preservation part and the preservation part is ongoing. It goes forever. This is an obligation. Everything you choose to preserve is an obligation, that takes resources and know-how and, strategy in order to implement and carry out. So that's what I want people to know. You know, digitization is the beginning of the process.
Susan Cary: And textile conservator Laura Mina told us about what makes her work continually rewarding:
Laura Mina: Maybe one that I worked on a few years ago, but I think might be a good example of sort of all of the different ways that my work unfolds, is a sampler that I worked on when I was in a post-graduate fellowship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And it's a sampler made in 1832 by Susanna Gillies Smith, who lived in Scotland. And the curator wanted to include it in an exhibit because it's an incredibly, beautifully worked sampler. The quality of the needlework is just breathtaking. And also the sampler has alphabets, numbers, lots of fun plants and animals, family initials.
So it was really desirable to be included in this exhibit, but at some point in the past, someone had decided to try to clean the sampler–I'm sure with good intentions–to make it look better, but they didn't test the embroidery threads to make sure that the dye wouldn’t start moving around in the water, but I did move around in the water. So all of the green embroidery threads that died migrated from the threads into the ground fabric and just created this really, sort of puddled green effect where you couldn't really see the finest of the embroidery stitches anymore.
It was a few hundred hours of work, but it was really cool because I felt like I was there with the creator, getting to think about all of those little tiny micro-decisions that she had made while working on the sampler herself. So I really felt like I was in her shoes to a certain extent working on this piece
And I thought about…The Philadelphia Museum of Art has this amazing encyclopedic collection. But I think like most encyclopedic museums, women artists are underrepresented and, certainly, children creators are very underrepresented. And so. It really occurred to me that the sampler is this special, nearly unique exception where it's a work of art created by a young girl that's really treasured and displayed, as a masterwork, showing off this incredible skill, and incredible creativity in a fine art museum.
And it gave me a different way of thinking about something that I had just sort of taken for granted previously in my life. And for me, that's part of what makes museums special is that you get to see new things you never saw before, but you've also got a chance to see familiar things in a new light. so in with all of the chemistry that I was thinking about, about how to deal with this, dye problem that had happened, it also gave me a different way of thinking about this young girl in the 1830s asking these philosophical questions about the meaning of life, that I was now getting to, to revisit with her in a way.
Michelle Herman: For show notes, works cited, and additional resources visit aaa.si.edu/articulated.
This podcast is produced by Ben Gillespie and Michelle Herman from the Archives of American Art. It was edited by Hannah Hethmon of Better Lemon Creative Audio.
Our music comes from Sound and Smoke composed by Viet Cuong and performed by the Peabody Wind Ensemble with Harlan Parker conducting.
Special thanks to Susan Cary and Lindsay Bright for narrating this episode.
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Support for this podcast comes from the Alice L. Walton Foundation.
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